Knee and Ankle Joint Angles Influence the Plantarflexion Torque of the Gastrocnemius

Dennis Landin, Melissa Thompson, Meghan Reid

Abstract


Background: The gastrocnemius (GA) is the lone bi-articular muscle of the leg, crossing both the knee and ankle. As with any bi-articular muscle, both joints affect its length/tension curve. The role of the GA as a plantarflexor is firmly established; however, no current research has investigated how changes in knee and ankle joint positions on its ability to generate a plantarflexion (PF) torque. This paper reports on the PF force generated by the GA at specific knee and ankle joint combinations.

Methods: The right GA of 26 participants was electrically stimulated via surface electrodes following a standardized protocol at 24 knee and ankle joint combinations. Three stimulations were applied at each of the 24 positions. Data were recorded on three dependent measures: the passive moment, which was the PF moment created by the tissue without stimulation, the maximum moment, which was the highest PF moment during the stimulation and included the passive moment, and the stimulated moment, which reflected the PF moment during stimulation minus the passive moment.

Results: A straight knee and dorsiflexed ankle create the position in which the GA generates the greatest PF moment, but it is also the position of greatest length. This finding is in contrast to conclusions from previous research with bi-articular muscles, which has consistently shown that the greatest length is not a muscle’s optimal length. The full ranges of motion for the knee and ankle apparently do not elongate the GA beyond its optimal length for producing a PF moment. Clinicians commonly evaluate GA status with the patient seated and the foot subject to gravity.

Conclusions: The present results indicate that manual testing of the GA in isolation should be performed, whenever possible, with the knee extended and the ankle dorsiflexed to potentially elicit the maximum PF torque from the GA.




J Clin Med Res. 2015;7(8):602-606
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/jocmr2107w


Keywords


Gastrocnemius; Plantarflexion; Joint angles; Torque

Full Text: HTML PDF

 

 

 

 

Browse  Journals  

     

Journal of clinical Medicine Research

Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics

World Journal of Oncology

Gastroenterology Research

Journal of Hematology

Journal of Medical Cases

Journal of Current Surgery

Clinical Infection and Immunity

Cardiology Research

World Journal of Nephrology and Urology

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Research

Journal of Neurology Research

International Journal of Clinical Pediatrics

 

 

 

 

 

Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, monthly, ISSN 1918-3003 (print), 1918-3011 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.            
The content of this site is intended for health care professionals.
This is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted
non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons Attribution license (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International CC-BY-NC 4.0)


This journal follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals,
the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

website: www.jocmr.org   editorial contact: editor@jocmr.org
Address: 9225 Leslie Street, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3H6, Canada

© Elmer Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.