Gluteus Maximus and Soleus Compensate for Simulated Quadriceps Atrophy and Activation Failure during Walking
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Series/Report no.:2013 Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum. 27th
Important activities of daily living, like walking and stair climbing, may be impaired by muscle weakness. In particular, quadriceps weakness is common in populations such as those with knee osteoarthritis (OA) and following ACL injury and may be a result of muscle atrophy or reduced voluntary muscle activation. While weak quadriceps has been strongly correlated with functional limitations in these populations, the important cause-effect relationships between abnormal lower extremity muscle function and patient function remain unknown. The purpose of this study was to explore possible muscle compensation strategies and changes in contribution to support and progression to maintain gait kinematics in response to two sources of quadriceps weakness: atrophy and activation failure. We used muscle-driven simulations to track normal gait kinematics in healthy subjects and applied simulated quadriceps weakness as atrophy and activation failure to evaluate compensation patterns associated with the individual sources of weakness. We found that the gluteus maximus and soleus muscles display the greatest ability to compensate for simulated quadriceps weakness. Relative to the baseline behavior of the muscles, the soleus compensates more to counteract activation deficits in the quadriceps and the gluteus maximus compensates more to counteract atrophy in the quadriceps. The development of this method for estimating the compensation strategies that are necessary to maintain normal gait will enable investigations of the role of muscle weakness in abnormal gait and inform potential rehabilitation strategies to improve such conditions.
Engineering: 3rd Place (The Ohio State University Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum)
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