Using a validated finite element model of the intact knee joint we aim to compute muscle forces and joint response in the stance phase of gait. The model is driven by reported in vivo kinematics-kinetics data and ground reaction forces in asymptomatic subjects. Cartilage layers and menisci are simulated as depth-dependent tissues with collagen fibril networks. A simplified model with less refined mesh and isotropic depth-independent cartilage is also considered to investigate the effect of model accuracy on results. Muscle forces and joint detailed response are computed following an iterative procedure yielding results that satisfy kinematics/kinetics constraints while accounting at deformed configurations for muscle forces and passive properties. Predictions confirm that muscle forces and joint response alter substantially during the stance phase and that a simplified joint model may accurately be used to estimate muscle forces but not necessarily contact forces/areas, tissue stresses/strains, and ligament forces. Predictions are in general agreement with results of earlier studies. Performing the analyses at 6 periods from beginning to the end (0%, 5%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%), hamstrings forces peaked at 5%, quadriceps forces at 25% whereas gastrocnemius forces at 75%. ACL Force reached its maximum of 343. N at 25% and decreased thereafter. Contact forces reached maximum at 5%, 25% and 75% periods with the medial compartment carrying a major portion of load and experiencing larger relative movements and cartilage strains. Much smaller contact stresses were computed at the patellofemoral joint. This novel iterative kinematics-driven model is promising for the joint analysis in altered conditions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
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