Author(s): Farquhar SJ
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Following total knee arthroplasty (TKA), quadriceps femoris muscle strength (force-generating capacity) and functional test scores improve but continue to be lower than those in people without injury. Analysis of the sit-to-stand (STS) task demonstrated side-to-side differences in subjects with TKA, as well as differences between subjects with TKA and control subjects. It was hypothesized that, when using a self-selected starting position, subjects 1 year following TKA would show improvements in strength and movement patterns but would continue to show asymmetries of angles and moments at the hips and knees.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Twenty-four subjects (12 subjects with unilateral TKA and 12 control subjects) were recruited; those with TKA were tested 3 months and 1 year following surgery. Motion analysis of an STS task was synchronized with 2 force platforms and electromyography. Outcome measures included joint angles and moments, electromyography, vertical ground reaction forces, muscle strength, and functional performance tests.
RESULTS: Subjects with TKA showed improvements in symmetry of motion, strength, and functional performance from 3 months to 1 year following TKA. Compared with control subjects, subjects with TKA relied on increased hip flexion and a larger hip extensor moment to perform the STS task.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The increased hip extensor moment demonstrated that subjects adopted a strategy to avoid the use of the quadriceps femoris muscle, yet this strategy persisted as quadriceps femoris muscle strength improved. This pattern may be a learned movement pattern that may not resolve without retraining.International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation