A Review of the Relationship among Knee Effusion, Quadriceps Inhibition, and Knee Function

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation

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Lori A. Bolgla
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Douglas R. Keskula
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To provide information on research investigating the relationship between a knee effusion and quadriceps inhibition

Data Sources:

Peer-reviewed publications from 1965 to 1997 that investigated the effect of a knee effusion on quadriceps strength.

Study Selection:

The studies reviewed involved human subjects. Researchers have used active motion, electromyographic equipment, and isokinetics to measure changes in quadriceps strength after a knee effusion.


Most studies reported that a knee effusion resulted in quadriceps inhibition and inferred that quadriceps inhibition would impair knee function.


The authors believe that additional research is needed to better understand the effect of a knee effusion on knee function. Although a knee effusion might lead to quadriceps inhibition, other factors contribute to normal knee function and might allow enough compensation so that knee function is not affected significantly in the presence of certain effusions.

Lori A. Bolgla and Douglas R. Keskula are with the Medical College of Georgia, Center for Sports Medicine, Augusta, GA 30912.

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