Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 1110–1117 | Cite as

Muscle strength and functional performance in patients at high risk of knee osteoarthritis: a follow-up study

  • Jonas Bloch Thorlund
  • Per Aagaard
  • Ewa M. Roos



To investigate whether changes from 2 to 4 years post arthroscopic partial meniscectomy (APM) in mechanical muscle function and objectively measured function differ between the operated and contra-lateral leg of APM patients or compared with controls.


Twenty-two patients (age 46.6 ± 5.0, BMI 24.7 ± 2.9) and 25 controls (age 46.4 ± 5.2, BMI 25.1 ± 4.6) previously examined at ~2 years post APM were examined again at ~4 years post surgery for maximal knee extensor/flexor voluntary contraction (MVC) and rapid force capacity. Functional performance was assessed by the distance achieved during a one-leg hop test and the maximum number of knee bends performed in 30 s. The Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) was used to evaluate self-reported outcomes.


Overall changes from 2 to 4 years post APM did not differ in maximal muscle strength, rapid force capacity, and functional performance between the operated and contra-lateral leg of patients or control legs. However, secondary analysis showed a difference in change in knee extensor MVC resulting in a 6% difference between the operated and contra-lateral leg of patients at follow-up.


No differences in longitudinal changes were observed from 2 to 4 years post APM between patients and controls. The secondary finding of differential changes over time in knee extensor MVC between the operated and contra-lateral leg partly confirm our hypothesis that differences in muscle strength may evolve from 2 to 4 years post APM. This differential change may represent an initial sign of an evolving lower limb muscle asymmetry, which may play a role in the development of knee OA.

Level of evidence



Knee joint Osteoarthritis KOOS Longitudinal Neuromuscular 



This study was supported by The Danish Rheumatism Association and the Region of Southern Denmark.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonas Bloch Thorlund
    • 1
  • Per Aagaard
    • 1
  • Ewa M. Roos
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Sports Science and Clinical BiomechanicsUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdense MDenmark

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