To evaluate patellar kinematics of volunteers without knee pain at rest and during isometric contraction in open- and closed-kinetic-chain exercises.
Twenty individuals took part in this study. All were submitted to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) during rest and voluntary isometric contraction (VIC) in the open and closed kinetic chain at 15°, 30°, and 45° of knee flexion. Through MRI and using medical e-film software, the following measurements were evaluated: sulcus angle, patellar-tilt angle, and bisect offset. The mixed-effects linear model was used for comparison between knee positions, between rest and isometric contractions, and between the exercises.
Data analysis revealed that the sulcus angle decreased as knee flexion increased and revealed increases with isometric contractions in both the open and closed kinetic chain for all knee-flexion angles. The patellar-tilt angle decreased with isometric contractions in both the open and closed kinetic chain for every knee position. However, in the closed kinetic chain, patellar tilt increased significantly with the knee flexed at 15°. The bisect offset increased with the knee flexed at 15° during isometric contractions and decreased as knee flexion increased during both exercises.
VIC in the last degrees of knee extension may compromise patellar dynamics. On the other hand, it is possible to favor patellar stability by performing muscle contractions with the knee flexed at 30° and 45° in either the open or closed kinetic chain.