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Disabil Rehabil. 1997 Feb;19(2):47-55.

Muscle function and gait in patients with knee osteoarthritis before and after muscle rehabilitation.

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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo 14215, USA.


Patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) have reduced functional capacity and muscle function that improves significantly after quantitative progressive exercise rehabilitation (QPER). The effects of these changes on the biomechanics of walking have not been quantified. Our goal was to quantify the effects of knee OA on gait before and after QPER. Bilateral kinematic and kinetic analyses were performed using a standard link-segment analysis on seven women (60.9 +/- 9.4 years) with knee OA. All functional capacity, muscle function and gait variables were initially reduced compared to age-matched controls. Muscle strength, endurance and contraction speed were significantly improved (55%, 42% and 34%, respectively) after 2 months of QPER (p < 0.05), as were function (13%), walking time (21%), difficulty (33%) and pain (13%). There were no significant changes in the gait variables after QPER. To use the QPER improvements to the best advantage, gait retraining may be necessary to "re-programme' the locomotor pattern.

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