Injuries and disorders affecting the knee joint are very common in athletes and older individuals. Passive and active vibration methods, such as acoustic emissions and modal analysis, are extensively used in both industry and the medical field to diagnose structural faults and disorders. To maximize the diagnostic potential of such vibration methods for knee injuries and disorders, a better understanding of the vibroacoustic characteristics of the knee must be developed. In this study, the linearity and vibration transmissibility of the human knee were investigated based on measurements collected on healthy subjects. Different subjects exhibit a substantially different transmissibility behavior due to variances in subject-specific knee structures. Moreover, the vibration behaviors of various subjects’ knees at different leg positions were compared. Variation in sagittal-plane knee angle alters the transmissibility of the joint, while the overall shape of the transmissibility diagrams remains similar. The results demonstrate that an adjusted stimulation signal at frequencies higher than 3 kHz has the potential to be employed in diagnostic applications that are related to knee joint health. This work can pave the way for future studies aimed at employing acoustic emission and modal analysis approaches for knee health monitoring outside of clinical settings, such as for field-deployable diagnostics.
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