Compensatory strategies for muscle weakness during stair ascent in subjects with total knee arthroplasty.J Arthroplasty. 2014 Jul; 29(7):1499-502.JA
Subjects with total knee arthroplasty (TKA) exhibit decreased quadriceps and hamstring strength. This may bring about greater relative effort or compensatory strategies to reduce knee joint moments in daily activities. To study gait and map out the resource capacity, knee muscle strength was assessed by maximal voluntary concentric contractions, and whole body kinematics and root mean square (RMS) electromyography (EMG) of vastus lateralis and semitendinosus were recorded during stair ascent in 23 unilateral TKA-subjects ~19 months post-operation, and in 23 healthy controls. Muscle strength and gait velocity were lower in the TKA group, but no significant group differences were found in RMS EMG or forward trunk lean. The results suggest that reduced walking velocity sufficiently compensated for reduced knee muscle strength.