Lower Limb Cycling Mechanics in Subjects with Unilateral Cerebrovascular Accidents

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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Biomechanical analysis of the generalized muscle moment and power patterns involved in cycling provides information regarding coordination within each limb. The purpose of this study was to compare individual joint kinetics, bilaterally, in subjects who had experienced cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs). Two-dimensional cinematography and force pedal data in a linked-segment model were used to study 8 ambulatory subjects while they rode a recumbent bicycle. The involved lower limb was defined as the lower limb with the greatest deficits, whereas the contralateral lower limb was defined as the lower limb opposite the involved lower limb and ipsilateral to the lesion site. The contralateral lower limbs of subjects with CVAs demonstrated patterns similar to those reported for nondisabled cyclists on an upright bicycle except for a bimodal hip power generation pattern that was possibly due to compensation for a lack of involved lower limb power generation. There were two critical findings of this study: Single-joint power generation patterns during the power phase indicated that either the hip or the knee, but not both joints, generated power in the involved lower limb, and asymmetrical differences between lower limbs appeared significant at the ankle alone.

Karen L. Perell is with Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Service, West Los Angeles VAMC, Los Angeles, CA 90073, and the Department of Physical Therapy, Mount St. Mary's College, Los Angeles, CA 90049. Robert J. Gregor is with the Department of Health and Performance Sciences, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332. A.M. Erika Scremin is with Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Service, West Los Angeles VAMC, and the Department of Medicine-PM&R Division, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90024. Direct correspondence to Karen L. Perell, PM&R (117), West LA VA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90073.

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