Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy November 2017, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 3372–3377

Quadriceps strength impairment in the mid- to long-term follow-up period after total knee arthroplasty

Ishii, Y., Noguchi, H., Sato, J. et al.


Quadriceps strength impairment after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) continues to be a concern. However, most studies of quadriceps strength have short-term follow-up periods. Whether quadriceps strength impairment occurs in the long-term follow-up period after TKA remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to compare the quadriceps strength between posterior cruciate ligament-retaining (CR) and substituting (PS) design mobile-bearing TKA (1) in the same patients after an average of 10 years and (2) between TKA patients and age-matched controls.



A prospective, quasi-randomized design was used. Thirty-four patients (68 knees) who underwent bilateral TKA (CR on one side and PS on the other) were followed for a minimum of 5 years, and 35 age-matched controls (70 knees) were evaluated. A handheld dynamometer was used to measure quadriceps isometric strength. For each patient, the maximum value of three trials was used. The ratio of muscle strength to body weight (MS/BW ratio; N/kg) was used to evaluate outcomes.



The median MS/BW ratio was 3.3 (range 1.4–10.5) for CR 3.4 (range 0.9–9.3) for PS, and 4.6 (range 0.4–8.8) for controls. The MS/BW ratio did not differ between prosthesis designs, but was significantly smaller in both CR (p = 0.020) and PS (p = 0.024) than in controls.



Posterior cruciate ligament-retaining TKA does not confer a substantial advantage an average of 10 years postoperatively. In addition, quadriceps strength, as measured using a hand-held dynamometer, was significantly lower in both TKA patient groups than in age-matched controls. Clinically, the results of this study indicate that quadriceps-strengthening exercises should be continued in the long term after TKA.


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