Quadriceps muscle activity during commonly used strength training exercises shortly after total knee arthroplasty: implications for home-based exercise selection

Review written by Anthony Teoli info

Key Points

  1. Exercises using elastic bands and bodyweight elicited greater voluntary peak quadriceps muscle activity when compared to exercises using a machine.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

In the early post-operative phase following total knee arthroplasty (TKA), there is significant weakness of muscles in the operated leg, notably the quadriceps muscle. This is believed to be caused by muscle atrophy and arthrogenic muscle inhibition (1). Consequently, exercise-based rehabilitation has become common practice after TKA to improve muscle strength and function. Home-based rehabilitation has been shown to be as effective as out-patient rehabilitation (2). Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare the activation of leg muscles during strength training exercises using machines with exercises in simpler forms (i.e. elastic band, body weight, etc).

After total knee arthroplasty there is significant weakness of muscles in the operated leg, notably the quadriceps muscle.
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A simple home exercise program for patients in the early post-operative phase following total knee arthroplasty could promote greater self-management and provide a more cost-effective and time-efficient exercise alternative.

METHODS

This cross-sectional study investigated voluntary peak muscle activity (% EMGmax) of the quadriceps (vastus medialis and lateralis) and hamstrings (semitendinosus and biceps femoris) muscles in the operated leg of 24 patients 4-8 weeks post TKA during six different exercises (machine

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