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Matthew J. Moncrieff and Lori A. Livingston

Context:

Structural and coronal-plane-alignment characteristics of the lower limb are frequently cited as factors contributing to knee pathologies.

Objective:

The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy and reliability characteristics of a digital-photographic-goniometric method (DPGM) of measurement for 2-dimensional (2D) coronal-plane lower limb measurements of the quadriceps (Q) angle, tibiofemoral (TF) angle, and femur length in human participants adopting a self-selected- or Romberg-stance position.

Design:

Reliability study.

Setting:

University motion-analysis laboratory.

Participants:

A convenience sample of 20 healthy young adult men and women.

Main Outcome Measures:

Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs), 95% confidence intervals, and standard error of the measurements.

Results:

Intratester- and intertester-reliability coefficients for the Q angle (ICCs .458–845 and .257–737) were consistently lower than those for the TF angle (ICCs .627–.904 and .700–.839) or femur length (ICCs .867–.958 and .866–.944). Q angles were also significantly larger (13.4%) in the Romberg- vs self-selected-stance position (P < .001) and larger (20.2%) in the left limb than the right limb.

Conclusions:

The DPGM has the potential to produce accurate and reliable measurements of selected 2D lower limb measures. However, the reliability characteristics depend on the ability of the testers to correctly and repeatably landmark the anatomical sites used to define the measurements of interest and might be influenced by other factors such as the stance position adopted, the complexity of the variable (ie, number of anatomical landmarks and segments), and the size of the captured image. Further investigation of these latter factors is warranted.

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Carrie Plaskett, Peter M. Tiidus and Lori Livingston

Ten volunteers (19-23 years old) performed 9 sets of 12 bilateral knee-extension exercises at 60% 1RM. Following exercise, 4 ultrasound treatments (5-cm transducer head, 1.0-MHz frequency, pulsed mode at 1.0 W/cm2) were applied for 8 min daily to the quadriceps muscle of a randomly selected treatment leg. The placebo leg received similar treatment with the ultrasound apparatus turned off. Knee-extension peak torque values and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) were assessed on each leg prior to exercise and at 20 min and 24, 48, 72, and 96 hr postexercise. Postexercise peak torques declined to 60-70% of preexercise values and returned to normal by 96 hr. DOMS sensation peaked 24 hr postexercise and diminished thereafter. No significant differences in peak torque or DOMS were noted between ultrasound- or placebo-treated legs at any time postexercise. Hence ultrasound, as applied in this study, does not appear to be effective in enhancing postexercise muscle strength recovery or in diminishing DOMS.

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Timo Byl, Jennifer A. Cole and Lori A. Livingston

Context:

Q-angle size has been found to correlate poorly with skeletal measures of pelvic breadth and femur length. Because the patella is exposed to the forces of quadriceps contraction, muscular forces might also affect Q-angle magnitude.

Objective:

To compare bilateral measurements of the Q angle with selected skeletal and muscular strength measures.

Design:

In vivo study of anthropometric and quadriceps peak torque measures.

Setting:

Research laboratory.

Participants:

Thirty-four healthy men and women, mean age 20.9 ± 2.7 years.

Main Outcome Measures:

Q angles, pelvic breadths, femur lengths, and peak torque during dynamic knee-extension exercise, normalized to body weight.

Results:

Significant differences in Q-angle magnitude, femur length, and peak torqueBW were observed between sexes, but not between limbs. Pelvic breadth did not differ significantly between sexes. Correlational analysis revealed a weak, yet significant, linear relationship between Q angle and peak torqueBW in the right lower limb.

Conclusions:

These findings lend some support to the notion that Q-angle magnitude is inversely related to quadriceps strength.