Quadriceps inhibition following arthroscopy in patients with anterior knee pain

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Bibliographic Details
Title translated into German:Funktionsstoerung des M. quadriceps nach Arthroskopie bei Knieschmerz-Patienten
Author:Suter, E.; Herzog, W.; Bray, R.C.
Published in:Clinical biomechanics
Published:13 (1998), 4-5 , S. 314-319, Lit.
Format: Publications (Database SPOLIT)
Publication Type: Journal article
Media type: Print resource
ISSN:0268-0033, 1879-1271
Online Access:
Identification number:PU199809304022

Author's abstract

Objectives: This study was aimed at investigating muscle strength and quadriceps inhibition in patients with unilateral anterior knee pain syndrome. Design: Functional assessments were made before an arthroscopic knee surgery and 6 weeks and 6 months following the surgical intervention. Background: Traumatic knee injuries have been associated with severe muscle inhibition of the knee extensor muscles. Muscle inhibition is a serious hindrance in the rehabilitation process and prevents full functional recovery of the affected joint. Methods: 30 patients participated in the study. Isometric quadriceps strength was measured using a KinCom dynamometer. Muscle inhibition was assessed using the interpolated twitch technique which requires applying a single electrical twitch to the femoral nerve during a maximal isometric knee extensor contraction. Pain was assessed with a 100 mm visual analogue pain scale. Results: Pre-surgery, substantial muscle inhibition and pain was observed in the affected leg compared with the contralateral leg. Over the 6 month period there was a decrease in pain and muscle inhibition, although the decrease in muscle inhibition failed to reach statistical significance. Muscle strength showed a decrease 6 weeks post-surgery followed by an increase 6 months following surgery compared with pre-surgical values. Conclusions: The arthroscopic intervention was successful in reducing pain in patients with unilateral anterior knee pain syndrome. However, muscle inhibition was still substantial 6 months following surgery and was significantly higher in the affected and contralateral limb than in normal subjects. Relevance: Clinical evidence indicates that conservative rehabilitation programs are not entirely successful in improving muscle strength and function in patients with severe joint injuries. The lack of success has typically been attributed to the high amount of muscle inhibition found in these patients. The present study confirmed a persisting muscle inhibition 6 months following knee surgery not only in the affected but also in the contralateral leg. Future studies should be aimed at designing exercise protocols that successfully eliminate muscle inhibition and, thus, potentially allow for full restoration of muscle function. Verf.-Referat