Basic Concepts in Functional Biomechanics

  • Jonathan A. Gustafson
  • Tetsuya Takenaga
  • Richard E. DebskiEmail author


Biomechanics is an interdisciplinary field that utilizes principles of mechanics applied to the human body in order to improve treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. Four basic topic areas of biomechanics will be explored in this chapter and include statics, dynamics, mechanics of materials, and applications.

Statics and dynamics utilize basic laws of physics to analyze the effect of external loads on the body, while mechanics of materials further assess changes at the tissue level and quantifies the properties of tissue that are vital to function. This chapter will provide readers with a better understanding of biomechanics and how it can be applied to improving diagnosis, advancing surgical treatment, and monitoring rehabilitation progress of athletes for earlier return to play.

Top Five Evidence Based References

  1. Guilak F (2003) Functional tissue engineering. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Jung HJ, Fisher MB, Woo SL (2009) Role of biomechanics in the understanding of normal, injured, and healing ligaments and tendons. Sports Med Arthrosc Rehabil Ther Technol 1:9PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Maquet PGJ (1984) Biomechanics of the knee: with application to the pathogenesis and the surgical treatment of osteoarthritis, vol 2nd, expand and rev. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Nissan M (1980) Review of some basic assumptions in knee biomechanics. J Biomech 13:375–381CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Nordin M, Frankel VH (1989) Basic biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system, vol Vol 2. Lea & Febiger, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar


  1. 1.
    Naendrup JH, Zlotnicki JP, Chao T, Nagai K, Musahl V (2016) Kinematic outcomes following ACL reconstruction. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med 9:348–360CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Borgstrom PH, Markolf KL, Wang Y, Xu X, Yang PR, Joshi NB et al (2015) Use of inertial sensors to predict pivot-shift grade and diagnose an ACL injury during preoperative testing. Am J Sports Med 43:857–864CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kuroda R, Hoshino Y (2016) Electromagnetic tracking of the pivot-shift. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med 9:164–169CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Engstrom B, Johansson C, Tornkvist H (1991) Soccer injuries among elite female players. Am J Sports Med 19:372–375CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wang H, Fleischli JE, Zheng NN (2013) Transtibial versus anteromedial portal technique in single-bundle anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: outcomes of knee joint kinematics during walking. Am J Sports Med 41:1847–1856CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Czamara A, Markowska I, Krolikowska A, Szopa A, Domagalska Szopa M (2015) Kinematics of rotation in joints of the lower limbs and pelvis during gait: early results-SB ACLR approach versus DB ACLR approach. Biomed Res Int 2015:707168CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hamner DL, Brown CH Jr, Steiner ME, Hecker AT, Hayes WC (1999) Hamstring tendon grafts for reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament: biomechanical evaluation of the use of multiple strands and tensioning techniques. J Bone Joint Surg Am 81:549–557CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cooper DE, Deng XH, Burstein AL, Warren RF (1993) The strength of the central third patellar tendon graft. A biomechanical study. Am J Sports Med 21:818–823. discussion 823–814CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Staubli HU, Schatzmann L, Brunner P, Rincon L, Nolte LP (1996) Quadriceps tendon and patellar ligament: cryosectional anatomy and structural properties in young adults. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 4:100–110CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Abramowitch SD, Yagi M, Tsuda E, Woo SL (2003) The healing medial collateral ligament following a combined anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligament injury--a biomechanical study in a goat model. J Orthop Res 21:1124–1130CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Woo SL, Orlando CA, Gomez MA, Frank CB, Akeson WH (1986) Tensile properties of the medial collateral ligament as a function of age. J Orthop Res 4:133–141CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Woo SL, Gomez MA, Woo YK, Akeson WH (1982) Mechanical properties of tendons and ligaments. II. The relationships of immobilization and exercise on tissue remodeling. Biorheology 19:397–408CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Noyes FR (1977) Functional properties of knee ligaments and alterations induced by immobilization: a correlative biomechanical and histological study in primates. Clin Orthop Relat Res:210–242Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Cruz AI Jr, Fabricant PD, Seeley MA, Ganley TJ, Lawrence JT (2016) Change in size of hamstring grafts during preparation for ACL reconstruction: effect of tension and circumferential compression on graft diameter. J Bone Joint Surg Am 98:484–489CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ESSKA 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan A. Gustafson
    • 1
  • Tetsuya Takenaga
    • 2
  • Richard E. Debski
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Departments of Bioengineering and Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

Personalised recommendations