Dynamic coordinate data for describing muscle-tendon paths: a mathematical approach
When modelling the musculoskeletal system over a range of joint angles the use of fixed points to describe muscle-tendon paths has inherent limitations. These result in fewer deflection points and the use of effective insertions to accommodate both relative marker movement and avoid muscle paths contacting bony structures. Model performance is dependent on the joint angle relative to the anatomical position where the muscle-tendon paths were defined. The present study proposes a scheme for the implementation of dynamic coordinates for describing muscle-tendon paths. For each muscle-tendon element a plane is defined in which the muscle-tendon complex acts when crossing a given joint. The muscle-tendon plane is dependent on 3D segment orientations and describes one degree of freedom, while the remaining two degrees of freedom are described by polar coordinates and locate the dynamic point in the muscle-tendon plane. The dynamic approach is implemented on four muscles of the lower limb in modelled and simulated joint movements and offers a significant improvement on previous approaches based on fixed deflection points. The scheme accommodates compound 3D rotations about joint axes, is not computationally difficult or require large data sets, and does not impose limitations on the number of points that may be defined along a muscle-tendon path.
Journal of Biomechanics