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J Biomech. 1994 Oct;27(10):1201-11.

Transfer of the rectus femoris: effects of transfer site on moment arms about the knee and hip.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.

Abstract

Decreased range of knee motion during gait is often treated by surgically releasing the rectus femoris from the patella and transferring it to one of four sites: semitendinosus, gracilis, sartorius, or the iliotibial tract. This study was conducted to determine if there are differences between these four tendon transfer sites in terms of post-surgical moment arms about the knee and hip. A graphics-based model of the lower extremity was used to simulate the origin-to-insertion path of the rectus femoris after transfer. Anatomical studies were conducted to evaluate the accuracy of the simulated tendon transfers by comparing knee flexion moment arms calculated with the computer model to moment arms measured in two anatomical specimens. The computer simulations and anatomical studies revealed substantial differences in the knee moment arms between the four sites. We found that the rectus femoris has the largest peak knee flexion moment arm (4-5 cm) after transfer to the semitendinosus. In contrast, after transfer to the iliotibial tract the rectus femoris has a slight (0-5 mm) knee extension moment arm. None of the transfers to muscle-tendon complexes on the medial side of the knee (semitendinosus, gracilis, sartorius) substantially affect the hip rotation moment arm of the rectus femoris. Transferring to the iliotibial tract increases hip internal rotation moment arm of the rectus femoris, but only when the hip is externally rotated.

PMID:
7962008
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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