Does hamstrings co-contraction constrain knee internal rotation in patients with knee endoprosthesis during decline slope walking?

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BACKGROUND: Medial and lateral hamstrings are known for their capacity to promote internal or external rotation of the knee. Apart from implant geometry, increased co-contraction to a larger share of either the medial or lateral hamstrings has the potential to contribute to the restricted knee internal rotation especially under consideration of cruciate ligament substituting compared to cruciate ligament retaining knee endoprosthesis designs. Hence, the purpose of the study was to evaluate, whether increased co-contraction of the hamstrings contribute to the impaired knee internal rotation in total and unicondylar knee arthroplasty patients during level and decline walking.

METHODS: Knee joint angles were calculated using an inverse kinematics model in Anybody. Muscle activity was examined of the semitendinosus and biceps femoris.

FINDINGS: Knee internal rotation was constraint in the operated compared to the non-operated limb only in the total knee arthroplasty group during decline slope walking. Co-contraction values revealed no statistically significant differences between the operated and non-operated limb during the limited knee internal rotation period of time (59-94% of stance). Biceps femoris activity was significantly reduced (69-71% of stance) in the operated limb in the total knee arthroplasty group during decline slope walking.

INTERPRETATION: Contrary to the proposed mechanism, aspects other than co-contraction between semitendinosus and biceps femoris are involved in the impaired transverse plane knee motion. These include implant congruency and probably friction. Unexpectedly, the biceps femoris did not compensate the absence of the anterior cruciate ligament with increased muscular activity in the operated limb of the total knee arthroplasty group.

OriginalspracheEnglisch
ZeitschriftClinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon)
Jahrgang67
Seiten (von - bis)134-141
Seitenumfang8
ISSN0268-0033
DOIs
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 01.07.2019

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