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Modified Pulvertaft on Weave Technique Restores Full Active Knee Extension in Patients With Large Chronic Quadriceps Tendon Rupture: A Case Series

Published:January 31, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arthro.2022.01.023

      Purpose

      We aimed to investigate the clinical and functional outcomes, including maximal and explosive strength, after chronic quadriceps tendon rupture repair with Modified Pulvertaft on Weave (MPW) technique

      Methods

      Knee joint range of motion (ROM), patella height, thigh circumference, and Lysholm and International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) scores were assessed preoperatively and postoperatively. The knee extensors maximal (isokinetic peak torque and isometric maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) torque) and explosive strength—rate of torque development (RTD) early [RTD50 and RTD100] and late [RTD250]—were performed. We assessed the thigh circumference and vastus lateralis muscle thickness (MT) as indicators of quadriceps muscle mass, and the voluntary quadriceps activation using surface electromyography (EMG50).

      Results

      Nine patients (mean age: 53 ± 11 years) took part in the study. We observed a significant increase in the knee active ROM and a decreased extension deficit (both, P < .001), but not for pain (P = .07), IKDC (P = .07), and Lysholm (P = .21) after the surgery. We did not observe a difference between involved (n = 8) and uninvolved (n = 10) limbs for ROM, thigh circumference, and MT. We observed differences for extensors peak torque, MVC torque, and late RTD (all, P < .05). However, we did not observe differences for early RTD and EMG50. Significant positive correlations were observed for RTD50 (ρ = .80) and RTD100 (ρ = .81) vs EMG50. Both the IKDC and Lysholm were better correlated with the early than with later RTD.

      Conclusions

      The MPW reestablished the active knee extension. The same level of quadriceps muscle mass was observed in both limbs, suggesting a lack of hypotrophy due to the injury. Although the involved limb had demonstrated lower knee extensors maximal strength, they demonstrate an equivalent early RTD when compared to the uninvolved limb. The early RTD seems to be better correlated with the patient’s functionality than the later RTD and maximal strength.

      Level of Evidence

      IV, case series.
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