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The effects of cryotherapy on quadriceps electromyographic activity and isometric strength in patient in the early phases following knee surgery
Loro WA, Thelen MD, Rosenthal MD, Stoneman PD, Ross MD
Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery 2019 Jan-Apr;27(1):2309499019831454
clinical trial
5/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: No; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: No; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

PURPOSE: To determine the effects of cryotherapy on quadriceps electromyographic (EMG) activity and isometric strength in early postoperative knee surgery patients. METHODS: Twenty-two volunteers with recent knee surgeries were included. EMG readings of the vastus medialis (VM), rectus femoris (RF), and vastus lateralis (VL) from the surgical leg were collected during a maximal voluntary quadriceps setting (QS) activity. Maximum isometric knee extension force measurements were also recorded. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive an ice bag or a sham room-temperature bag to the front of their postsurgical knee for 20 min. After treatment, the subjects repeated the above mentioned maximum QS and isometric knee extension force measurements. The subjects returned 24 h later to conduct the same test protocol but received the treatment (ice or sham) not applied during their first test session. RESULTS: A 38% increase in VM EMG activity during QS and a 30% increase in maximum isometric knee extension strength were found after cryotherapy treatment. No significant differences were found in RF or VL EMG activity during QS after cryotherapy. No significant differences were found in any measurements after the sham treatment. CONCLUSION: Clinicians should consider applying ice to knee joints prior to exercise for patients following knee surgery with inhibited quadriceps.

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