Sensitivity of subject-specific models to Hill muscle-tendon model parameters in simulations of gait

V. Carbone, M.M. van der Krogt, H.F.J.M. Koopman, N. Verdonschot

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Subject-specific musculoskeletal (MS) models of the lower extremity are essential for applications such as predicting the effects of orthopedic surgery. We performed an extensive sensitivity analysis to assess the effects of potential errors in Hill muscle–tendon (MT) model parameters for each of the 56 MT parts contained in a state-of-the-art MS model. We used two metrics, namely a Local Sensitivity Index (LSI) and an Overall Sensitivity Index (OSI), to distinguish the effect of the perturbation on the predicted force produced by the perturbed MT parts and by all the remaining MT parts, respectively, during a simulated gait cycle. Results indicated that sensitivity of the model depended on the specific role of each MT part during gait, and not merely on its size and length. Tendon slack length was the most sensitive parameter, followed by maximal isometric muscle force and optimal muscle fiber length, while nominal pennation angle showed very low sensitivity. The highest sensitivity values were found for the MT parts that act as prime movers of gait (Soleus: average OSI=5.27%, Rectus Femoris: average OSI=4.47%, Gastrocnemius: average OSI=3.77%, Vastus Lateralis: average OSI=1.36%, Biceps Femoris Caput Longum: average OSI=1.06%) and hip stabilizers (Gluteus Medius: average OSI=3.10%, Obturator Internus: average OSI=1.96%, Gluteus Minimus: average OSI=1.40%, Piriformis: average OSI=0.98%), followed by the Peroneal muscles (average OSI=2.20%) and Tibialis Anterior (average OSI=1.78%) some of which were not included in previous sensitivity studies. Finally, the proposed priority list provides quantitative information to indicate which MT parts and which MT parameters should be estimated most accurately to create detailed and reliable subject-specific MS models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1953-1960
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of biomechanics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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