Reduced knee extensor torque production at low to moderate velocities in postmenopausal women with knee osteoarthritis

Carlos Rodriguez-Lopez, David Beckwée, Frank P. Luyten, Dieter Van Assche, Evelien Van Roie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study aimed to determine deficits in knee extensor muscle function through the torque-time and torque-velocity relationships and whether these deficits are associated with reduced functional performance in postmenopausal women with knee osteoarthritis (KOA). A clinical sample of postmenopausal women with established KOA (n = 18, ≥55 years) was compared to an age-matched healthy control sample (CON) (n = 26). The deficits in different parameters of the knee extensor torque-time (maximal isometric torque and rate of torque development) and torque-velocity relationship (maximum muscle power, maximal velocity and torque at 0–500°·s−1) were assessed through a protocol consisting of isometric, isotonic and isokinetic tests. Functional performance was evaluated with sit-to-stand and stair-climbing tasks using a sensor-based technology (ie, time- and power-based outcomes). Postmenopausal women with KOA showed reduced maximal isometric torque (Hedge's g effect size (g) = 1.05, p = 0.001) and rate of torque development (g = 0.77‒1.17, all p ≤ 0.02), combined with impaired torque production at slow to moderate velocities (g = 0.92‒1.70, p ≤ 0.004), but not at high or maximal velocities (g = 0.16, p > 0.05). KOA were slower (g = 0.81‒0.92, p ≤ 0.011) and less powerful (g = 1.11‒1.29, p ≤ 0.001) during functional tasks. Additionally, knee extensor deficits were moderately associated with power deficits in stair climbing (r = 0.492‒0.659). To conclude, knee extensor muscle weakness was presented in postmenopausal women with KOA, not only as limited maximal and rapid torque development during isometric contractions, but also dynamically at low to moderate velocities. These deficits were related to impaired functional performance. The assessment of knee extensor muscle weakness through the torque-time and torque-velocity relationships might enable individual targets for tailored exercise interventions in KOA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2144-2155
Number of pages12
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Volume31
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • aging
  • force–velocity relationship
  • muscle power
  • muscle weakness
  • physical disability
  • rate of force development

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