View Full Version : Summary: Normative isometric knee ext force data vs joint angle

11-07-2007, 08:34 AM
Dear subscribers

Thank you for the responses to my query about normative isometric
leg-extension data.

The study by Andrews1996 seems still to be the largest one in scope, but
for knee extension it is limited to only 90 deg ext. Brian Schulz
(Brian.Schulz@va.gov) sent me unpublished isometric results for ext deg
120 and 150 (n = 10+11) that were obtained in connection with another
study Schulz2007 (bibliography below). He permitted me to quote the
results so I give them here together with his explanations:

>> I've got isometric right knee extensor strength data at 30 and 60
degrees of knee flexion for the healthy young and old women tested on
the device described in the attached paper. The isometric data was not
reported in this paper, as the kinetic moment data was the more relevant
comparison to the stepping task. Here are some the descriptive statistics:

30 degrees 60 degrees
Young Women Mean 60.8844 78.3555
Median 55.8787 70.8814
Std. Dev. 18.86785 29.46729
Minimum 38.67 36.28
Maximum 100.79 135.28
Old Women Mean 55.2726 76.6783
Median 53.7399 83.7451
Std. Dev. 18.90464 21.12437
Minimum 27.31 32.69
Maximum 97.27 99.64

He adds that these values were probably [he has the details on another
computer] based on taking mean values over a time window and might
therefore be a bit lower than peak values. Also the device was mounted
in the horizontal plane so that no gravitational torque had to be
accounted for. As a comparison we obtained [Hur Rehab Line Leg
extenesion/curl] for old women [average age around 80 yr, n = 34] a mean
legext torque at 120 ext deg [= 60 flex deg] of 79.5 Nm which includes
an estimated average gravitational torque of 5.1 Nm.

HansHCM Savelberg (Hans.Savelberg@BW.unimaas.nl) sent his study
Savelberg2003 which has material on the knee torque-angle relationship
for runners (10) and cyclists (10). In the measurements [Cybex II] 4 hip
joint angles were combined with 5 knee joint angles. The normalized,
averaged total extending knee joint moments shown in Savelberg2003:Fig.3
suggests there is almost no difference between MVC leg-ext torque for
ext deg 120 and 90. Laura Frey Law (laura-freylaw@uiowa.edu) informs
that her group is "collecting data on young healthy men and women
looking at isometric and isokinetic data at various angles" and is about
to publish their results.

Ton van den Bogert, Trisha Kesar and Daniel Hahn suggested some of the
refs below. The Pincivero2004 study (14+15) used a Biodex device [with
gravity correction] and measured MVC torque at 5 different angles in the
interval 90 -- 180 ext deg. Their average knee extension torques vs
angle in Pincivero2004:Fig.1 suggest that it is on the average about 12
% larger at 120 deg compared with the value at 90 for men, and about 30
% for women, but this is a wild *estimate* from their figure [without
proper interpolation/curve fitting etc]. Kuhlig1984 was not accessible
at the time of writing, but the ref was suggested by Daniel Hahn. I have
included Fransen2003 as an example where they use the normative data by
Andrews1996 to compare values for OA patients [contains also further
references on the topic]. There may be a lot of data in the literature
on leg-extension/curl torques for various angles which have been
obtained as *byproducts* in studies focused on other things. Probably
there would be a need to maintain a normative database on isometric
forces covering a wide range of ages and joint angles.

Best regards

Frank Borg
U of Jyväskylä, Chydenius Institute, Karleby, Finland

Original submission:

"I wonder whether anyone knows about normative data on isometric
knee-extension forces (or torques) at various knee joint angles. / ..../
Since we have data [elderly participants] for 120 degree joint angle we
would like to compare with normative data at this angle. From some
textbook examples about force-length relations my guess [which is no
substitute for real data ...] is that MVC leg extension torque is about
20 % higher on the average for 120 degree joint angle compared to 90
degree joint angle. (For 120 joint angle one has also to take into
account the gravity which for an adult may correspond to a torque > 5
Nm.) Pointers to some accessible isometric normative data for a wider
range of angles would be appreciated."

Bibliography [BibTex format]:

author = {A W Andrews and M W Thomas and R W Bohannon},
title = {Normative values for isometric muscle force measurements
obtained with hand-held dynamometers},
journal = {Physical Therapy},
year = 1996,
volume = 76,
pages = {248-259}

author = {R Perumal and A S Wexler and J Ding and S A Binder-Macleod},
title = {Modeling the length dependence of isometric force in human
quadriceps muscles},
journal = {Journal of Biomechanics},
volume = 35,
number = 7,
year = 2002,
pages = {919-930}

author = {B W Schulz and J A Ashton-Miller and N B Alexander},
title = {Maximum step length: Relationships to age and knee and hip
extensor capacities},
journal = {Clinical Biomechanics},
volume = 22,
pages = {689-696}
year = 2007

author = {D M Pincivero and Y Salfetnikov and R M Campy and A J Coelho},
title = {Angle- and gender-specific quadriceps femoris muscle
recruitment and knee extensor torque},
journal = {Journal of Biomechanics},
volume = 37,
pages = {1689-1697},
year = 2004

author = {H H C M Savelberg and K Meijer},
title = {Contribution of mono- and biarticular muscles to
extending knee joint moments in runners and cyclists},
journal = {J Appl Physiol}
volume = 94,
pages = {2241–2248},
year = 2003

author = {T Stoll and E Huber and B Seifert and B A Michel and G Stucki},
title = {Maximal isometric muscle strength: Normative values and
Gender-specific relation to age},
journal = {Clinical Rheumatology},
pages = {105-113},
year = 2000

author = {K Kuhlig and J G Andrews and others},
title = {Human Strength Curves},
editor = {R L Terjung},
booktitle = {Exercise and Sport Science Reviews},
pages = {417-466},
publisher = {Lexington: Collamore Press},
year = 1984

author = {M Fransen and J Crosbie and J Edmonds},
title = {Isometric muscle force measurement for clinicians treating
patients with osteoarthritis knee},
journal = {Arthritis \& Rheumatism},
volume = 49,
number = 1,
pages = {29-35},
year = 2003