Effects of and response to mechanical loading on the knee

Review written by Dr Carlo Wood info

Key Points

  1. Clinicians should have a clear understanding of the specific injured tissue(s), and rehabilitation should be driven by knowledge of tissue healing constraints, knee complex and lower extremity biomechanics, neuromuscular physiology, task-specific activities involving weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing conditions, and training principles.
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Mechanical loading creates change down to the molecular level. The magnitude, duration, frequency, rate, nature, and direction of force application can vary and interact with one another. This creates a variety of loading patterns on tissues, which results in either increased tolerance, or overload injury (see Figure 1).


Knowing how loading affects knee joint tissues allows us to develop safe and effective rehabilitation strategies. The aim of this review was to synthesize the current evidence around mechanotransduction and the effect of loading on the tissues of the knee, and provide an overview of how these mechanical processes should be considered in knee rehabilitation.

Mechanical loading creates change down to the molecular level.
The ability of the degenerative portion of a tendon to recover normal structure remains in doubt.


This study was a review of the current available literature, although no methodology was provided on how the literature was identified. There was no information on inclusion or exclusion criteria and no assessment provided on the quality of the papers

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