Date of Award

Summer 8-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering


Biological Science

First Advisor

Rennee Rogge

Second Advisor

Eric Reyes

Third Advisor

Christine Buckley


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a damaging disease that commonly affects the knee and can impact function of the lower limb. This study examined how plantar weight distribution is related to the changes in knee alignment and various types of joint damage in patients with OA. A force mat was used to measure plantar weight distribution on 37 patients with knee OA, and the internal condition of the knee was evaluated during surgery. Analysis showed a relationship between medial plantar weight distribution and an increase in knee alignment angle (0.20, p < 0.001). For the damage models, an indirect relationship was found between medial weight distribution and ACL damage (-0.14, p=0.029). No relationship was found for the other types of OA damage. It is reasonable to believe they do exist, however. This study found a connection between weight distribution and alignment, and previous research has shown one between alignment and OA.


I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Renee Rogge, for her tremendous guidance and encouragement throughout this research. Without her support, this thesis would not have been possible. Likewise, I would like to thank the rest of my Advisory Committee members, Dr. Eric Reyes and Dr. Christine Buckley, for their help with this undertaking. Dr. Michael Berend, Board Certified Orthopaedic surgeon was the primary investigator of this study and allowed me to work with his patients and provided clinical insight for this research. The Joint Replacement Surgeons of Indiana provided the resources needed to acquire the clinical data for this study, as well, with special thanks to Amy Robertson for helping to coordinate the setup of this research.