A model of the lower limb for analysis of human movement

Edith M. Arnold, Samuel R. Ward, Richard L. Lieber, Scott L. Delp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

613 Scopus citations


Computer models that estimate the force generation capacity of lower limb muscles have become widely used to simulate the effects of musculoskeletal surgeries and create dynamic simulations of movement. Previous lower limb models are based on severely limited data describing limb muscle architecture (i.e., muscle fiber lengths, pennation angles, and physiological cross-sectional areas). Here, we describe a new model of the lower limb based on data that quantifies the muscle architecture of 21 cadavers. The model includes geometric representations of the bones, kinematic descriptions of the joints, and Hill-type models of 44 muscle-tendon compartments. The model allows calculation of muscle-tendon lengths and moment arms over a wide range of body positions. The model also allows detailed examination of the force and moment generation capacities of muscles about the ankle, knee, and hip and is freely available at www.simtk.org .

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-279
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Hill-type model
  • Lower extremity
  • Maximum isometric moment
  • Muscle architecture
  • Muscle strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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