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J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2015 Aug;45(8):613-9. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2015.5852. Epub 2015 Jun 25.

Atrophy of the Quadriceps Is Not Isolated to the Vastus Medialis Oblique in Individuals With Patellofemoral Pain.

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1
School of Allied Health, College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia.

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

Cross-sectional. Objectives To determine if quadriceps atrophy was present in people with patellofemoral pain (PFP), and whether the vastus medialis oblique (VMO) was selectively involved.

BACKGROUND:

Despite the lack of research investigating individual quadriceps muscle size in individuals with PFP, it has been suggested that selective atrophy of the VMO relative to the vastus lateralis could be associated with PFP.

METHODS:

The quadriceps muscle sizes of 35 participants with PFP (22 with unilateral and 13 with bilateral symptoms) and 35 asymptomatic control participants matched for age and sex were measured using real-time ultrasound. The thicknesses of the VMO, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, rectus femoris, and vastus intermedius were measured. Paired-samples t tests were used to compare muscle thickness between limbs in those with unilateral PFP, and independent t tests were used to compare muscle thickness between groups with and without PFP. Results In those with unilateral PFP, the thickness of all portions of the quadriceps muscle was statistically smaller in the symptomatic compared to the asymptomatic limb: VMO (P = .038), vastus medialis (P<.001), vastus lateralis (P = .005), vastus intermedius (P = .013), and rectus femoris (P = .045). No difference was found in thickness of any of the portions of the quadriceps on the affected side of people with PFP compared to asymptomatic controls: VMO (P = .148), vastus medialis (P = .474), vastus lateralis (P = .122), vastus intermedius (P = .466), and rectus femoris (P = .508).

CONCLUSION:

Atrophy of all portions of the quadriceps muscles is present in the affected limb of people with unilateral PFP. There was no atrophy of the quadriceps in individuals with PFP compared to those without pathology. Selective atrophy of the VMO relative to the vastus lateralis was not identified in people with PFP.

KEYWORDS:

VMO; anterior knee pain; chondromalacia; quadriceps femoris; ultrasound imaging

PMID:
26110547
DOI:
10.2519/jospt.2015.5852
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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