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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1993 Jul;25(7):783-9.

Fatigability of human quadriceps femoris muscle following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

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School of Life and Health Sciences, Program in Physical Therapy, University of Delaware, Newark 19716.


The responses of quadriceps femoris muscles to an electrically elicited fatigue test were recorded from both lower extremities of 18 patients who had recently undergone unilateral, anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. The fatigue test consisted of 40 pps, 13-pulse electrical trains that were repeated once per second for 3 min. The intensity of stimulation was set for each extremity to produce 20% of the maximum voluntary isometric contraction of the uninvolved muscle. The uninvolved quadriceps femoris muscle showed a significantly greater rate of decline in force over the first minute than the involved muscle (0.803%.s-1 for uninvolved muscle vs 0.620%.s-1 for involved muscle). Similarly, the average forces produced over the last minute were significantly lower for the uninvolved than the involved quadriceps femoris muscle (uninvolved = 42.6%, involved = 50.4% of their original forces). These surprising results showed that the involved quadriceps femoris muscles were more endurant than the uninvolved muscles. It is suggested that the increases in endurance of the involved muscle may have been due, in part, to greater recruitment of Type I fibers with electrical stimulation or selective Type II fiber atrophy in the involved muscle.

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