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IEEE Trans Rehabil Eng. 1999 Jun;7(2):140-9.

Myoelectric activation pattern during gait in total knee replacement: relationship with kinematics, kinetics, and clinical outcome.

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Laboratorio di Analisi del Movimento, Istituti Ortopedici Rizzoli, Bologna, Italy.


Gait usually presents an excellent improvement after total knee replacement. Nevertheless, some abnormalities persist even after a long period of time. The abnormal knee patterns have been attributed to several possible causes, such as implant geometry and surgical technique, posterior cruciate ligament sparing/sacrificing, preoperative "stiff-knee" pattern due to pain and altered biomechanics, weakness of the extensor muscles, preoperative arthritic pattern, proprioceptive deficiency, and multijoint degenerative involvement. Cocontraction of the knee flexors and extensors is a common strategy adopted to reduce strain and shear forces at the joint, but it increases compressive forces and joint loading. Even in patients with an excellent functional score, the duration of the implant may be compromised by an altered neuromuscular control of the knee. In this paper, we report a single case study carried out over two years on a patient that underwent total knee replacement. The aim of this work is to show that quantitative gait analysis is essential to augment the understanding of the mechanisms underlying gait, thus enabling clinicians to adapt the rehabilitation program to the specific patient. Although the limits of single case reports are obvious, we believe that this evaluation methodology could be beneficial for assessing the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs aimed at achieving an active control of the knee during gait through a correct muscular activation pattern.

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