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Eric Maylia, John A. Fairclough, Leonard D.M. Nokes and Michael D. Jones

Thigh girth is often used as an indicator of muscle hypertrophy or atrophy during the rehabilitation process following knee surgery. The measurement of thigh girth, using a conventional plastic tape measure, in an attempt to detect muscle hypertrophy or atrophy may be misleading. It is an inaccurate measure of thigh muscle bulk. Although the sample size is small, the results show that measurements are heavily biased by the expectations of observers, with the result that a considerable change in thigh girth is likely to be ignored.

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Eric Maylia, John A. Fairclough, Leonard D.M. Nokes and Michael D. Jones

The purpose of this study was to assess whether measurements of thigh bulk taken with a tape measure would give an indication of muscle power. Eleven male patients, all undergoing unilateral menisectomies, performed exercises of the quadriceps and hamstring muscles during concentric loading at 60°/s. The patients were tested three times over a 12-week period: one day before the operation and 2 and 12 weeks after the operation. Thigh girth was recorded, using a conventional plastic tape measure, 10 cm from the top of the patella in each of the three test sessions. The results of this study demonstrated that muscle power cannot be predicted from thigh girth measurements.