Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2022 , Vol 68 , Num 2

Assessment of the relationship between rectus femoris cross-sectional area and knee extension strength in the prosthesis users with transtibial amputation: A case-control study

Kardelen Gencer Atalay 1 ,Özge Keniş Coşkun 1 ,Esra Giray 1 ,Osman Hakan Gündüz 1 ,İlker Yağcı 1
1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Marmara University Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey DOI : 10.5606/tftrd.2022.7655 Objectives: This study aims to investigate cross-sectional area of the amputated-limb rectus femoris compared to the intact-limb and controls and to determine its correlation with functional strength and walking tests in prosthesis users with transtibial amputation.

Patients and methods: Between October 2018 and April 2019, a total of 14 prosthesis users (12 males, 2 females; mean age: 47.1±16.2 years; range, 26 to 73 years) who met the inclusion criteria, and 14 age-, sex-, and dominancy-matched able-bodied controls (12 males, 2 females; mean age: 47.1±16.2 years; range, 26 to 73 years) were included in this case-control study. Cross-sectional area of rectus femoris (CSA-RF) was evaluated bilaterally by two independent examiners. Knee extension strength was measured bilaterally by using a handheld dynamometer. Functional strength and walking were assessed by Step-Up-Over and Walk-Across tests of the NeuroCom Balance Master® device.

Results: The CSA-RF was found to be reduced in amputated-limb compared to the intact-limb and able-bodied controls (p<0.01). In the prosthesis users, the cross-sectional area difference between both limbs rectus femoris muscles was shown to be correlated with actual and functional knee extension strength, step length, and walking speed (p<0.05). Intra- and inter-observer reliability of CSA-RF on both sides were found to be good to excellent (intraclass correlation coefficient: 0.856-0.936).

Conclusion: Ultrasonographic measurement of CSA-RF is a valid and reliable tool to assess the functional strength and walking in the prosthesis users with unilateral transtibial amputation. Keywords : Amputees, muscle strength, rectus femoris, rehabilitation