Recovery of Contractile Properties of the Knee-Extensor Muscles after Arthroscopic Partial Meniscectomy

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context:

Contractile characteristics of the knee extensors after arthroscopic meniscectomy are poorly understood.

Objective:

To measure the recovery of knee-extensor-muscle contractility after arthroscopic partial meniscectomy.

Design:

Single-group repeated measures.

Setting:

Kinesiology and biomechanics laboratory.

Subjects:

Fourteen patients with arthroscopic partial medial meniscectomies.

Main Outcome Measures:

Maximal isometric voluntary contraction (MVC) force, rate of force development (MRFDES), and half-relaxation time (HRTES) of evoked tetanic contraction preoperatively and during 6 months postoperatively.

Results:

Two weeks postoperatively, a reduction in MVC force of 27.1% and in MRFDES of 17.8% and a prolongation of HRTES of 34.0% in the injured leg were found. A significant MVC-force deficit (17.5%) was observed 3 months postoperatively.

Conclusions:

The recovery of knee-extensor-muscle voluntary strength is more delayed than are evoked tetanic-contractile characteristics after partial meniscectomy. The rehabilitation protocol seems to be insufficient to attain effective recovery of knee-extensor-muscle voluntary strength.

Gapeyeva, Pääsuke, Ereline, and Vaher are with the Institute of Exercise Biology, and Pintsaar and Eller, with the Department of Traumatology and Orthopedics, at the University of Tartu, Tartu 51014, Estonia.