Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Electric Muscle Stimulation and Rehab

Effects of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction on Quadriceps Strength, Function, and Patient-Oriented Outcomes: A Systematic Reviewfrom Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy - JOSPT Site-Wide RSS
Kyung-Min Kim, Ted Croy, Jay Hertel, Susan Saliba

STUDY DESIGN: Systematic literature review.

OBJECTIVE: To perform a systematic review of randomized controlled trials assessing the effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on quadriceps strength, functional performance, and self-reported function after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

BACKGROUND: Conflicting evidence exists regarding the effectiveness of NMES following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

METHODS: Searches were performed for randomized controlled trials using electronic databases from 1966 through October 2008. Methodological quality was assessed using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database Scale. Between-group effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated.

RESULTS: Eight randomized controlled trials were included. The average Physiotherapy Evidence Database Scale score was 4 out of possible maximum 10. The effect sizes for quadriceps strength measures (isometric or isokinetic torque) from 7 studies ranged from –0.74 to 3.81 at approximately 6 weeks postoperatively; 6 of 11 comparisons were statistically significant, with strength benefits favoring NMES treatment. The effect sizes for functional performance measures from 1 study ranged from 0.07 to 0.64 at 6 weeks postoperatively; none of 3 comparisons were statistically significant, and the effect sizes for self-reported function measures from 1 study were 0.66 and 0.72 at 12 to 16 weeks postoperatively; both comparisons were statistically significant, with benefits favoring NMES treatment.

CONCLUSION: NMES combined with exercise may be more effective in improving quadriceps strength than exercise alone, whereas its effect on functional performance and patient-oriented outcomes is inconclusive. Inconsistencies were noted in the NMES parameters and application of NMES. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapy, level 1a–.

Dr. Joshua Brooks
Chiropractor Fairfax, VA 22031
Chiropractor Alexandria, VA 22304

Monday, July 19, 2010

Gait Biomechanics

Gait Biomechanics, Spatial and Temporal Characteristics, and the Energy Cost of Walking in Older Adults With Impaired Mobilityfrom Physical Therapy current issue by Wert, D. M., Brach, J., Perera, S., VanSwearingen, J. M.

Abnormalities of gait and changes in posture during walking are more common in older adults than in young adults and may contribute to an increase in the energy expended for walking.

The objective of this study was to examine the contributions of abnormalities of gait biomechanics (hip extension, trunk flexion, and foot-floor angle at heel-strike) and gait characteristics (step width, stance time, and cadence) to the energy cost of walking in older adults with impaired mobility.

A cross-sectional design was used.

Gait speed, step width, stance time, and cadence were derived during walking on an instrumented walkway. Trunk flexion, hip extension, and foot-floor angle at heel contact were assessed during overground walking. The energy cost of walking was determined from oxygen consumption data collected during treadmill walking. All measurements were collected at the participants' usual, self-selected walking speed.

Fifty community-dwelling older adults with slow and variable gait participated. Hip extension, trunk flexion, and step width were factors related to the energy cost of walking. Hip extension, step width, and cadence were the only gait measures beyond age and gait speed that provided additional contributions to the variance of the energy cost, with mean R2 changes of .22, .12, and .07, respectively.

Other factors not investigated in this study (interactions among variables, psychosocial factors, muscle strength [force-generating capacity], range of motion, body composition, and resting metabolic rate) may further explain the greater energy cost of walking in older adults with slow and variable gait.

Closer inspection of hip extension, step width, and cadence during physical therapy gait assessments may assist physical therapists in recognizing factors that contribute to the greater energy cost of walking in older adults.

Dr. Joshua Brooks,
Chiropractor Fairfax, VA 22031
Chiropractor Alexandria, VA 22304