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Intervention of Refractory Arthrofibrosis After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Case Report

Ling Zhang, Shuai Fan, and Bin Cai

Objectives: Although nonsurgical and surgical management of knee arthrofibrosis has been reported in the literature, there is little information on the effect of procedural treatment modalities of refractory arthrofibrosis on clinical outcomes. The purpose of this case report is to describe the intervention of refractory knee arthrofibrosis after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and investigate long-term clinical outcomes after procedural intervention. Methods: A 27-year-old male presented with decreased range of motion (ROM), patellar mobility, strength, and knee joint function following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction of his left knee. After failed conservative management, the patient underwent manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) to release scar tissue. Following MUA, the emphasis of comprehensive physiotherapy was on decreasing inflammation, relieving pain, and maintaining patellar mobility while increasing knee joint ROM and strength. Knee ROM, patellofemoral motion, gait, and quadriceps recruitment were measured 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after MUA. Results: At 2-year follow-up after MUA, the patient continued to present with decreased ROM and quadriceps strength compared to the contralateral knee, but had returned to a running program and reported knee joint dysfunction no longer interfered with his daily activities. Conclusions: This case report demonstrates signs and symptoms that could indicate knee arthrofibrosis and introduces procedural intervention for refractory arthrofibrosis after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

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Sensorimotor or Balance Training to Increase Knee-Extensor and Knee-Flexor Maximal Strength in Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis: A Critically Appraised Topic

Martin Alfuth and Elena Vieten

Clinical Scenario: Knee osteoarthritis (KOA) is a complex progressive synovial joint disease that results in impaired muscle function, including a considerable loss of maximal strength and power. Exercise therapies, such as sensorimotor or balance training and resistance training, are frequently used to improve muscle function, mobility, and quality of life, but their impact on maximal muscle strength in patients with KOA is not well understood. Focused Clinical Question: Does sensorimotor or balance training improve knee-extensor and knee-flexor maximal muscle strength compared with strength training or no intervention in patients with KOA? Summary of Key Findings: Results from 4 fair- to good-quality randomized controlled/clinical trials (level 1b) revealed inconsistent grade B evidence regarding the effect of sensorimotor or balance training to improve knee-extensor and knee-flexor maximal muscle strength in patients with KOA. Two studies, one good-quality study and one fair-quality study, showed significant strength improvements, and 2 good-quality studies demonstrated no significant strength enhancements. Clinical Bottom Line: Sensorimotor or balance training may be useful to improve maximal strength of quadriceps and hamstring muscle groups in patients with KOA; however, it seems that this depends on a training duration of at least 8 weeks and the use of unstable devices to induce destabilization of patients’ balance, initiating neuromuscular adaptations. Strength of Recommendation: Due to inconsistent evidence (grade B), the true effect of sensorimotor or balance training to improve knee-extensor and knee-flexor maximal muscle strength in patients with KOA remains unclear and needs to be further investigated.

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The Validity and Reliability of the Turkish Version of the Disablement in the Physically Active Scale

Manolya Acar, Demet Öztürk, Mert Demirsöz, and Mustafa Agah Tekindal

Context: The Disablement in the Physically Active Scale (DPAS) was recently developed to evaluate the disability process and health-related quality of life. The aim of this study was to investigate the validity and reliability of the Turkish version of the DPAS in physically active individuals with musculoskeletal injury. Methods: The study sample comprised 64 physically active individuals with musculoskeletal injury aged 16–40 years. The DPAS was translated into Turkish according to the guidelines for cross-cultural adaptation. Short Form-36 was used concurrently to test the construct validity. The test–retest reliability of the Turkish version of the scale assessed by intraclass correlation coefficient and Cronbach α was calculated for internal consistency. Results: Confirmatory factor analysis carried out on the Turkish version of the DPAS was confirmed. Cronbach α was calculated to be .946. The intraclass correlation coefficients ranged between .593 and .924 (P < .001). The Turkish version of the scale showed significant correlations with domains of the Short Form-36 (P < .05). When the sensitivity of the study was evaluated, the highest correlation was found between DPAS total score and impairments (r = .906, P = .001), and the lowest correlation was  between DPAS total score and quality of life (r = .637, P = .001). Conclusion: The Turkish version of the DPAS is a reliable, valid, and practical tool. The Turkish version of the DPAS can be used by health professionals to understand quality of life, the disability process, and activity limitations in Turkish-speaking physically active people after musculoskeletal injuries.

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Weight-Bearing Exercises on Slideboard Increase Quadriceps and Hamstring Activation Levels and Improve Hip- and Knee-Flexion Angles in Physically Active Individuals

Cigdem Demir and Gulcan Harput

Context: Slideboards are commonly used in exercise programs, but there is limited information about how they affect muscle activities during exercise. We aim to compare the activation levels of quadriceps and hamstring muscles and hip- and knee-flexion angles during lunge and single-leg squat exercises between normal ground and slideboard in physically active individuals. Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: Thirty healthy individuals (age: 23.83 [2.84] y, body mass index: 21.75 [1.72] kg/m2) were included in the study. Surface electromyography was used to measure vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, and semitendinosus activation levels during reaching and returning phases of the forward, lateral, and back lunges and squats that were performed on the normal ground and slideboard. Exercises were performed at a slow pace (60 beats/min). Hip- and knee-flexion angles during the exercises were evaluated by using 2-dimensional motion analysis. Repeated measures of analysis of variance were used for statistical analysis. Results: Vastus medialis and vastus lateralis activation levels were greater during reaching and returning phases of the exercises on slideboard compared with normal ground (P < .05). However, semitendinosus and biceps femoris activity were greater only during the returning phase of the forward lunge (P < .001) and the returning phase of the back squat (P = .002, P = .009, respectively). Hip-to-knee flexion ratios were closer to 1 when the forward lunge (P < .001), back lunge (P = .004), and forward squat (P = .001) exercises were performed on a slideboard. Conclusion: In exercise programs that target the quadriceps and hamstring muscles, slideboards can be effectively used in exercise progressions as they can increase muscle activity. Moreover, squat and lunge exercises on slideboard with a slow pace may also be helpful for improving the balance between hip- and knee-flexion angles.

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Lower Extremity Physical Performance Tests for the Assessment of Athletes via Telehealth are Reliable

Maycon Thomas Moises Jales, Germanna de Medeiros Barbosa, Gustavo Viotto Gonçalves, Hilmaynne Renaly Fonseca Fialho, Letícia Bojikian Calixtre, and Danilo Harudy Kamonseki

Context: Lower extremity physical performance tests (PPTs) have been widely used in sports rehabilitation and are commonly performed in person. However, some situations may disrupt the in-person health care delivery, such as social distancing due to the pandemic, traveling, and living in remote locations. Those situations may require adjustments in planning and applying measurement tests, and telehealth has become an alternative. Nevertheless, the reliability of lower extremity PPT tests via telehealth is still unknown. Objectives: To verify the test–retest reliability, SEM, and the minimum detectable change (MDC95) of PPTs via telehealth. Methods: Fifty asymptomatic athletes completed 2 assessment sessions 7 to 14 days apart. The assessment via telehealth consisted of warm-up exercises followed by the single-, triple-, and side-hop tests, and the long jump test, in random order. Intraclass correlation coefficient, SEM, and MDC95 were calculated for each PPT. Results: Single-hop test showed good to excellent reliability, with SEM and MDC95 ranging from 6.06 to 9.24 cm and 16.79 to 25.61 cm, respectively. The triple-hop test showed excellent reliability, with SEM and MDC95 ranging from 13.17 to 28.17 cm and 30.72 to 78.07 cm, respectively. Side-hop tests showed moderate reliability, with SEM and MDC95 ranging from 0.67 to 1.22 seconds and 2.00 to 3.39 seconds, respectively. The long jump test showed excellent reliability, with SEM and MDC95 ranging from 5.34 to 8.34 cm and 14.80 to 23.11 cm, respectively. Conclusion: The test–retest reliability of those PPTs via telehealth was acceptable. The SEM and MDC were provided to assist clinicians in interpreting those PPTs.

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Nutritional Supplements in the Clinical Management of Tendinopathy: A Scoping Review

Ian Burton and Aisling McCormack

Introduction: Tendinopathy has a high prevalence and incidence in the general population and among athletes, with a lack of consensus among medical practitioners on optimal management strategies. The objective of this scoping review was to evaluate current research on the use of nutritional supplements for treating tendinopathies, including what supplements have been used and what outcomes, outcome measures, and intervention parameters have been reported. Methods: Databases searched included Embase, SPORTDiscus, the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, CINAHL, and AMED. This scoping review considered primary studies investigating nutritional supplements for tendinopathies and was reported in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Extension for Scoping Reviews. Results: A total of 1527 articles were identified with 16 included in the review. Studies investigated a range of nutritional supplements in the clinical management of various tendinopathies, including several commercially available proprietary blends of several ingredients. TendoActive (mucopolysaccharides, type I collagen, and vitamin C) was used in 2 studies, TENDISULFUR (methylsulfonylmethane, hydrolyzed collagen, L-arginine, L-lysine, vitamin C, bromelain, chondroitin, glucosamine, Boswellia, and myrrh) was used in 3 studies, and Tenosan (arginine-L-alpha ketoglutarate, hydrolyzed collagen type I, methylsulfonylmethane, vitamin C, bromelain, and vinitrox) was used in 2 studies. Collagen peptides were used in 2 studies, with omega-3 fatty acids, combined fatty acids and antioxidants, turmeric rhizome combined with Boswellia, β-hydroxy β-methylbutyric, vitamin C in isolation and combined with gelatin, and creatine investigated in one study each. Conclusion: Despite a paucity of studies to date, findings from this review suggest that several nutritional compounds may be beneficial in the clinical management of tendinopathies, by exerting anti-inflammatory effects and improving tendon healing. Nutritional supplements may have potential as an adjunctive method to standard treatment methods such as exercise, where their pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and structural tendon effects may augment the positive functional outcomes gained from progressive exercise rehabilitation.

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Physical Performance and Mobility Tests Using Telehealth: A Feasibility Study With Athletes

Maycon Thomas Moises Jales, Germanna Medeiros Barbosa, Gustavo Viotto Gonçalves, Hilmaynne Renaly Fonseca Fialho, Letícia Bojikian Calixtre, and Danilo Harudy Kamonseki

Context: Physical performance tests (PPTs) and mobility tests have been widely used in sports rehabilitation. However, the feasibility of PPTs and mobility tests via telehealth is unknown. Objectives: To verify the feasibility of PPTs and mobility tests to assess athletes via telehealth. Design: This is a feasibility study. Participants: Athletes enrolled in a sports team or club for at least 2 years and with previous enrollment in a competitive league were recruited through advertisements on social media. The athletes included in this study (mean age = 25.9 y, from different sports) performed a battery of PPTs and mobility tests for the lower-extremity or upper-extremity and trunk, according to their sport modality. Main Outcome Measure: The feasibility was assessed with recruitment, success, and dropout rates. In addition, athletes’ perceptions of easiness, satisfaction, and safety during the lower-extremity or upper-extremity and trunk PPTs and mobility tests were assessed. Results: Seventy-three athletes were included, between January and April 2021: 41 were allocated to the lower-extremity and 32 to the upper-extremity and trunk PPTs and mobility test, according to their sports modality. The overall dropout rate was 20.55%; >89% of the athletes agreed that the PPTs and mobility tests via telehealth were easy to perform, >78% were satisfied, and >75% felt safe during the assessments. Conclusion: This study indicated that these 2 batteries of performance and mobility tests via telehealth are feasible to assess the lower and upper-extremities, and the trunk of athletes, considering the adherence, athletes’ perception of easiness, satisfaction, and safety.

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Relationship Between Muscle Activity and Force During Suspended Bridge Exercises

Andrew Skibski, Luk Devorski, Nolan Orfield, and L. Colby Mangum

Context: Isometric core stability exercises are commonly used to target muscles of the lumbopelvic–hip complex, including the rectus abdominis (RA) and erector spinae (ES). These exercises can be implemented in rehabilitation protocols to increase muscle strength and endurance. Difficulty can be progressed by modifying the base of support or adding an unstable element. Load cells can be affixed to suspension training devices to measure force exerted through the straps during exercise. The primary purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between activity of the RA and ES to force measured through a load cell fixed to suspension straps during bilateral and unilateral suspended bridge exercises. Design: Forty asymptomatic, active individuals completed a single laboratory visit. Methods: Participants completed 2 bilateral suspended bridges and 2 unilateral suspended bridges held to failure. Surface electromyography sensors were placed over the bilateral RA and ES to quantify muscle activity (% maximum voluntary isometric contraction). A load cell was affixed to the suspension straps to measure force exerted through the straps throughout the duration of the exercise. Pearson correlations were used to determine relationships between force and muscle activity of the RA and ES throughout exercise duration. Results: Force was negatively related to RA muscle activity in bilateral suspended bridges (r = −.735 to −.842, P < .001) and unilateral suspended bridges (r = −.300 to −.707, P = .002 to <.001). Force had a positive relationship with ES muscle activity in bilateral suspended bridges (r = .689 to .791, P < .001) and unilateral suspended bridges (r = .418 to .448, P < .001). Conclusions: Suspended bridge exercises can be a valuable tool to target posterior abdominal musculature such as the ES to contribute to core stability and endurance. Load cells can be applied during suspension training to quantify the interaction between individuals and the exercise equipment.

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Relationship Between Posterior Shoulder Tightness and Lower-Limb Flexibility in College Baseball Players

Tomonobu Ishigaki, Motoki Hirokawa, Yuya Ezawa, and Masanori Yamanaka

Context: Posterior shoulder tightness evaluated as limited glenohumeral internal rotation and horizontal adduction is a risk factor for throwing-related shoulder and elbow injuries. Given that the throwing motion uses the entire body kinematics, limited lower-limb flexibility might be associated with posterior shoulder tightness. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the relationships between posterior shoulder tightness and lower-limb flexibility in college baseball players. Design : Cross-sectional study. Setting: University laboratory. Participants: Twenty-two college baseball players (20 right-handed and 2 left-handed). Methods: To investigate the relationships between glenohumeral range of motion and lower-limb flexibility using simple linear regression analysis, we measured passive range of motion of glenohumeral internal rotation and horizontal adduction, hip internal/external rotation in the prone/sitting position, ankle dorsiflexion, and quadriceps and hamstrings flexibility from both shoulders and legs. Results: Our analysis indicated that decreases in the lead leg hip external rotation in the prone position were moderately associated with limitations in glenohumeral internal rotation (R 2 = .250, β [95% confidence interval, CI] = 0.500 [0.149 to 1.392], P = .018) and horizontal adduction (R 2 = .200, β [95% CI] = 0.447 [0.051 to 1.499], P = .019) on the throwing shoulder. Furthermore, there were significant moderate relationships between decreases in glenohumeral internal rotation and limited lead leg quadriceps flexibility (R 2 = .189, β [95% CI] = 0.435 [0.019 to 1.137], P = .022), and between decreases in glenohumeral horizontal adduction and limited stance leg ankle dorsiflexion (R 2 = .243, β [95% CI] = 0.493 [0.139 to 1.438], P = .010). Conclusion: College baseball players with limited lower-limb flexibilities including the lead leg hip external rotation in the prone position, the lead leg quadriceps flexibility, and the stance leg ankle dorsiflexion showed excessive posterior shoulder tightness. The current results support the hypothesis that lower-limb flexibility is associated with posterior shoulder tightness in college baseball players.

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The Effects of Light Pressure Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization at Different Rates on Grip Strength and Muscle Stiffness in Healthy Individuals

Scott W. Cheatham, Nickolai Martonick, Lukas Krumpl, and Russell T. Baker

Context: Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) is a popular myofascial treatment utilized by health care professionals. Currently, there is a lack of research on the effects of a light pressure IASTM treatment on the forearm region. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of a light pressure IASTM technique at different application rates on grip strength and muscle stiffness. This study was considered exploratory with the goal of establishing methodology for future controlled studies. Design: Observational pretest and posttest clinical study. Methods: Twenty-six healthy adults underwent one light pressure IASTM treatment to their dominant forearm muscles. Participants were allocated to 2 groups of 13 based upon treatment rate: 60 beats per minute and 120 beats per minute. Participants were tested pretreatment and posttreatment for grip strength and tissue stiffness via diagnostic ultrasound. One-way analyses of covariance were used to assess group differences posttreatment for grip strength and tissue stiffness. Results: Statistically significant posttreatment changes for grip strength and tissue stiffness were not found. Despite the nonstatistical significance, there were small decreases in grip strength and tissue stiffness. Faster (120 beats/min) IASTM application may have produced clinically meaningful decreases in grip strength along with a small decrease in tissue stiffness. Conclusions: This report helps to establish methodology for future controlled studies on this topic. Sports medicine professionals should consider these results as exploratory and interpret them with caution. Future research is needed to confirm these findings and begin to postulate possible neurophysiological mechanisms.