Baseline Gait Muscle Activation Patterns Differ for Osteoart
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A Study was conducted to determine if baseline quadriceps and hamstrings muscle activity patterns differed between those with medial-compartment knee osteoarthritis (OA) who advanced to total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and those who did not advance to TKA, and to examine associations between features extracted from principal component analysis (PCA) and discrete measures.

Surface electromyograms of the vastus lateralis and medialis, rectus femoris, and lateral and medial hamstrings during walking were collected from 54 individuals with knee OA. Amplitude and temporal characteristics from PCA, co-contraction indices (CCI) for lateral and medial muscle pairs, and root mean square (RMS) amplitudes for early, mid, late, and overall stance were calculated from electromyographic waveforms. At follow-up 5 to 8 years later, 26 participants reported having undergone TKA.

--The TKA group had higher hamstrings activity magnitudes (PC1), prolonged activity in mid stance (PC2) for all muscles, and greater lateral CCI.

--TKA had higher RMS hamstrings activity for all stance phases, and higher RMS mid- and late-stance quadriceps activity.

--PC1 was highly correlated with RMS amplitude (highest overall and early stance).

--PC2 was correlated with mid- and late-stance RMS. CCIs were correlated with PC1 and PC2, with greater variance explained for PC1.

Those who progressed to TKA had higher magnitudes and longer durations of agonist and antagonist activity, suggesting fewer joint unloading. These patterns of gait muscle activation point to a possible conservative intervention target.