The Validity of a Portable Strain-Gauge Apparatus Versus a Commercial Isokinetic Dynamometer for Evaluating Knee Extension Kinetics

Oranchuk, D
Juneau, C
Diewald, S
Neville, J
Cronin, J
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Journal Article
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International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy

Background Isokinetic dynamometers are widely used when assessing neuromuscular function including knee extension kinetics. However, these dynamometers are often prohibitively expensive and are not portable. Thus strain-gauge technology has grown in popularity.

Purpose The purpose of this study was to compare kinetic data captured via an isokinetic dynamometer against an affordable and portable strain-gauge with a treatment plinth during maximal isometric knee extensions. Study Design Cross-sectional study.

Methods Healthy participants (8 males and 6 females; age 30.2±7.1 years) volunteered and performed knee extensions at a 90° knee angle on a dynamometer and a treatment plinth with a portable strain-gauge. Peak force (PF), peak rate of force development (PRFD), rate of force development (RFD2080) and impulse (IMP2080) from 20-80% of onset to peak force were assessed using both strain-gauge and isokinetic dynamometer. Between-device differences were evaluated by the Wilcoxon signed-rank test, Cohen’s d effect sizes (ES), Pearson’s correlation coefficients (r), and Bland-Altman plots.

Results No significant or meaningful differences were identified between isokinetic and strain-gauge devices (all p≥0.268, ES≤0.35). However, slightly greater (2.5-9.5%) outputs were observed with the isokinetic dynamometer. Very large significant between-device correlations were found for PF (r=0.77, p=0.001) and PRFD (r=0.73, p=0.003), while small and moderate non-significant between-device correlations were found for RFD2080 (r=0.48, p=0.079) and IMP2080 (r=0.59, p=0.060). Bland-Altman plots did not reveal apparent biases from high to low performers.

Conclusions These results indicate that the strain-gauge device can produce valid maximal and rapid force expression measurements. Similar results, such as those quantified via an isokinetic device, can be obtained without extreme rigour and constraint. The study’s findings support using the practically relevant treatment plinth and strain-gauge combination as a suitable alternative to the isokinetic dynamometry for measuring PF and PRFD. Therefore, more rehabilitation and sports performance practitioners can confidently assess knee extension kinetics.

force , impulse , quadriceps , rate of force development , reliability , 4201 Allied Health and Rehabilitation Science , 42 Health Sciences , 4207 Sports Science and Exercise , Clinical Research , 4201 Allied health and rehabilitation science , 4207 Sports science and exercise
International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, ISSN: 2159-2896 (Print); 2159-2896 (Online), International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 19(3), 258-267. doi: 10.26603/001c.92742
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