Biarticular hip extensor and knee flexor muscle moment arms of the feline hindlimb.J Biomech. 2007; 40(15):3448-57.JB
Moment arms are important for understanding muscular behavior and for calculating internal muscle forces in musculoskeletal simulations. Biarticular muscles cross two joints and have moment arms that depend on the angle of both joints the muscles cross. The tendon excursion method was used to measure the joint angle-dependence of hamstring (biceps femoris, semimembranosus and semitendinosus) moment arm magnitudes of the feline hindlimb at the knee and hip joints. Knee angle influenced hamstring moment arm magnitudes at the hip joint; compared to a flexed knee joint, the moment arm for semimembranosus posterior at the hip was at most 7.4 mm (25%) larger when the knee was extended. On average, hamstring moment arms at the hip increased by 4.9 mm when the knee was more extended. In contrast, moment arm magnitudes at the knee varied by less than 2.8 mm (mean=1.6 mm) for all hamstring muscles at the two hip joint angles tested. Thus, hamstring moment arms at the hip were dependent on knee position, while hamstring moment arms at the knee were not as strongly associated with relative hip position. Additionally, the feline hamstring muscle group had a larger mechanical advantage at the hip than at the knee joint.