Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Caroline Cao (Committee Member), Wiebke Diestelkamp (Committee Member), Jennie Gallimore (Committee Member), Tarun Goswami (Committee Chair), Richard Laughlin (Committee Member), James Tsatalis (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Ankle arthritis constitutes about 10% of all joint arthritis cases, however, the revision rate of ankle replacement devices is three times higher than comparable hip and knee devices. With complicated bone morphology and surrounding ligament structures, the physiological and gait characteristics of the ankle joint presents a challenge to biomechanicians. As a result, there is a lack of fundamental understanding how the ligaments and articular surfaces interact. The objective of this doctoral research is to address the pattern of contact at the joint articulation, the fundamental role of ligaments in joint mobility, and biomechanics of total ankle replacement (TAR) devices. In this study, an attempt was made to describe the ankle joint kinematics under static and unloaded conditions by means of mechanical linkage. A rigid body linkage mechanism was subscribed to the 3D model of the ankle joint based on ligament markings to predict kinematic coupling. Motion analysis was conducted to derive articular curvature of the tibia and talus at the joint by simulating flexion motion. The joint biomechanics in the presence of TAR devices was simulated by finite element analysis (FEA). Gait loads were applied in TAR devices, and annual wear rate and contact pressure predicted and compared with published data.

Page Count


Department or Program

Ph.D. in Engineering

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Engineering Commons