Intense interest in knee joint mechanics has resulted in the development of numerous models to predict forces acting at the knee. However, few models have accounted for the unique geometric characteristics of the knee joint's articular surfaces when predicting the mechanical response of the joint. The purpose of this study was to simulate accurately the complex geometric characteristics of the tibiofemoral joint for input into a finite element model representing the knee joint of athletic females. The right knee of an athletic female with no history of knee joint trauma was imaged using a 0.5 T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit. Twelve cross-sectional slices of the knee were scanned in each of three orthogonal planes (coronal, sagittal and axial) at slice intervals of 6 mm, 7 m, and 8 mm respectively. A scan plan (two coronal images and an axial image) was also generated to enable calculation of the orthogonal scans with respect to one another. Select anatomical reference points representing cancellous and compact bone, major ligament attachment areas, and articular cartilage of the distal femur and proximal tibia were digitized from the processed shadowgraphs. The processed digitized data were input into a computer graphics program which was the pre- and post-processing software for the finite element analysis package. Contours of the cancellous and compact bone of the tibial and femoral condyles were generated using beta and cubic spline curves. Bezier quadratic and cubic polynomials were used to reconstruct the tibial and femoral shafts. Accuracy of the model was verified by comparing the shape and proportionality of the simulated tibia and femur with the MRI images from which the model was generated and with anatomical literature. Comparisons demonstrated that subtle variations in the complex geometry of the tibiofemoral joint could be accurately simulated using data obtained from MRI scans of an intact knee. Refinements of the imaging and digitizing procedures were proposed to provide even greater accuracy in modelling the anatomy of the tibiofemoral joint. © 1994.