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Int J Sports Med. 1995 Jan;16(1):45-50.

Decreased torque and electromyographic activity in the extensor thigh muscles in chondromalacia patellae.

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Department of Surgery, Kuopio University Hospital, Finland.


The alterations in thigh muscle properties of chondromalacia patellae patients during isometric and dynamic endurance tests were studied using a variokinetic knee testing system linked to surface EMG. A total of 41 patients (chondromalacia group) with arthroscopically certified chondromalacia of the patella were studied. The control group consisted of 31 healthy adult volunteers with no history of knee pain or trauma. Peak torque values were 21% (p < 0.01) and force output values 25% (p < 0.05) lower on the symptomatic side of the chondromalacia group than in the control group. The decrease in the ratio between integrated EMG (IEMG) and measured force were found in all parts of the quadriceps femoris muscle in patients with chondromalacia of the patella in isometric extension. No change in the normalized IEMG levels of the thigh muscles were found between chondromalacia patients and controls in dynamic endurance test. The severity of the chondromalacia of the patella did not affect the level of electromyographic activation in thigh muscles. The ratio of normalized EMG levels of vastus medialis and vastus lateralis did not differ between the groups. The present study showed that chondromalacia patellae patients have reduced force and electromyographic activation levels of quadriceps femoris muscle. Especially, the explosive strength of the quadriceps femoris muscle is reduced.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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