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A knee joint's longevity depends on the proper integration of five variables: surface congruency, load distribution, stress during loading, contact area, and ligament tension. If some variables in just one small area are abnormal, this system fails, resulting in arthritis. The complexity of various failures has led orthopedic surgeons to select total knee replacement as their first treatment choice. In many cases, this means sacrificing much of an otherwise normal joint. It's like replacing the front tire of a car that's worn on one side because of bad alignment.

Y. Zhu, E. B. Mac Mahon, S. Xiao and J. X. Chen, "3D Knee Modeling and Biomechanical Simulation," in Computing in Science & Engineering, vol. 1, no. , pp. 82-87, 1999.
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