The associations between quadriceps muscle strength, power, and knee joint mechanics in knee osteoarthritis: A cross-sectional study☆,☆☆

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Abstract

Background:

Abnormal knee joint mechanics have been implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of knee osteoarthritis. Deficits in muscle function (i.e., strength and power) may contribute to abnormal knee joint loading. The associations between quadriceps strength, power and knee joint mechanics remain unclear in knee osteoarthritis.

Methods:

Three-dimensional motion analysis was used to collect peak knee joint angles and moments during the first 50% of stance phase of gait in 33 participants with knee osteoarthritis. Quadriceps strength and power were assessed using a knee extension machine. Strength was quantified as the one repetition maximum. Power was quantified as the peak power produced at 40–90% of the one repetition maximum.

Findings:

Quadriceps strength accounted for 15% of the variance in peak knee flexion angle (P = 0.016). Quadriceps power accounted for 20–29% of the variance in peak knee flexion angle (P < 0.05). Quadriceps power at 90% of one repetition maximum accounted for 9% of the variance in peak knee adduction moment (P = 0.05).

Interpretation:

These data suggest that quadriceps power explains more variance in knee flexion angle and knee adduction moment during gait in knee osteoarthritis than quadriceps strength. Additionally, quadriceps power at multiple loads is associated with knee joint mechanics and therefore should be assessed at a variety of loads. Taken together, these results indicate that quadriceps power may be a potential target for interventions aimed at changing knee joint mechanics in knee osteoarthritis.

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