Content » Vol 40, Issue 5

Original report

Relationship between the EMG ratio of muscle activation and bony structure in osteoarthritic knee patients with and without patellar malalignment

Shu-Hsia Wu, Ngok-Kiu Chu, Yiu-Chung Liu, Chih-Kuang Chen, Simon F.T. Tang, Cheng-Kung Cheng
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0178


Objective: The aim of this study was to compare muscle activation patterns and patellofemoral joint morphologies between patients with knee osteoarthritis with and without patellar malalignment.
Subjects: The subjects were divided into 3 groups. Group A comprised 11 patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis without patellar malalignment. Group B comprised 14 patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis with patellar malalignment. Group C comprised 10 age-matched subjects with non-knee osteoarthritis as controls.
Methods: Isokinetic dynamometry with surface electromyography was used to measure maximal muscle activity in terms of vastus medialis oblique/vastus lateralis ratios. Merchant's view was taken to analyse the bony anatomy of the patellofemoral joint. Recordings were made at angular velocities of 80, 120 and 240º/sec.
Results: The electromyographic ratios of group B were lower than groups A and C for all testing velocities (p<0. 05). Group B also had larger sulcus angles, lateral patellar tilt and displacement. The electromyographic ratios correlated negatively with sulcus angles.
Conclusion: Subjects with knee osteoarthritis with patellar malalignment exhibited an imbalance in quadriceps contraction, as confirmed by altered vastus medialis oblique/vastus lateralis ratios associated with larger sulcus angles of the patellofemoral joints. The sulcus angle may be an important contributing factor in causing abnormal patellar tracking in knee osteoarthritis.

Lay Abstract


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