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Lori A. Bolgla and Douglas R. Keskula


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.

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Lori A. Bolgla, Scott W. Shaffer and Terry R. Malone


Knee extension exercise is an important part of knee rehabilitation. Clinicians prescribe non-weight bearing exercise initially and progress patients to weight bearing exercise once they can perform a straight leg raise (SLR).


Compare VM activation during a SLR and weight bearing exercises.


One-way repeated measures design.


University Laboratory.


Fifteen healthy subjects.


One SLR exercise and 6 weight-bearing knee extension exercises.

Main Outcome Measures:

Electromyographic amplitudes for the VM expressed as a percent maximum voluntary isometric contraction.


The SLR had greater activation than the single leg stance and bilateral squat exercises. The step-up and unilateral leg press exercises had the greatest activation.


SLR performance can be an important indicator for exercise progression. These results provide foundational knowledge to assist clinicians with exercise prescription.

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Lori A. Bolgla, Douglas R. Keskula and Jewell B. Duncan


Researchers have suggested that quadriceps inhibition resulting from a simulated knee effusion would lead to decreased lower extremity performance.


To investigate the relationship between a simulated knee effusion and lower extremity performance.


9 college students.


Subjects performed 3 functional-performance tests before and after a simulated knee effusion. Measurement was the average distance hopped for a single hop and crossover hop for distance and time for completion on a timed hop test.


An analysis of variance revealed significant change in average test scores after injection only for the timed hop in subjects receiving a 60-ml injection.


Nonsignificant differences might have resulted from compensation from other muscle groups, fluid movement within the knee joint, and absence of an inflammatory process. Further research on the relationship between simulated knee effusion and lower extremity performance is needed.

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Michael P. Reiman, Lori A. Bolgla and Daniel Lorenz

The purpose of this commentary is to describe the multifactorial relationships between hip-joint strength, range of motion, kinetics/kinematics, and various knee pathologies, specifically as they relate across an individual’s life span. Understanding the interdependence between the hip and knee joints in respect to functional activity is a necessary and relevant aspect for clinicians to investigate to ameliorate various pathological presentations at the knee that might have a proximal relationship.

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Lori A. Bolgla and Douglas R. Keskula