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Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2007 Feb;15(2):202-11. Epub 2006 Sep 28.

Quadriceps femoris muscle voluntary isometric force production and relaxation characteristics before and 6 months after unilateral total knee arthroplasty in women.

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  • 1Institute of Exercise Biology and Physiotherapy, University of Tartu, 5 Jakobi Street, Tartu 51014, Estonia. helena.gapeyeva@ut.ee


The purpose of the present prospective intervention study was to evaluate voluntary isometric force production, relaxation and activation capacity of the quadriceps femoris (QF) muscle before and 6 months after unilateral total knee arthroplasty (TKA). TKA was performed in ten women with primary knee osteoarthritis (OA) using the condylar endoprostheses. Isometric maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) force, rate of force development at 50% of MVC (RFD50) and their ratio to body mass, half-relaxation time (HRT) and voluntary activation (VA) of the QF muscle were recorded in patients for operated and non-operated leg before and 6 months after TKA. Established characteristics were compared with data on the dominant leg of ten age- and gender-matched controls. The clinical examination was performed using the Knee Society System (KSS) scores and pain intensity was assessed by visual analogue scale. MVC force in operated leg was lower (P < 0.05) before and 6 months after TKA as compared with the non-operated leg (31 and 32%, respectively) and controls (48 and 44%, respectively). Patients had lower (P < 0.05) VA of the QF muscle in operated leg 6 months after TKA as compared to controls. Significant increase (P < 0.05) of KSS clinical scores and the tendency for the increasing of explosive force production of QF muscle in the operated leg were observed 6 months after TKA (RFD50 was 60% lower before TKA and 40% lower 6 months after surgery as compared to controls). When compared with the preoperative value, HRT prolongation (P < 0.05) was noted 6 months after TKA in QF muscle of both legs in patients. Therefore, the present study confirmed that patients with knee OA had reduced force generation ability of QF muscle before TKA and the improvement of explosive force was noted 6 months after surgery.

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