Quadriceps strength and anterior knee pain following tibia intramedullary nailing: Any clinical relationship?

  • O Esan
  • A.O. Ojoawo
  • I.C. Ikem
Keywords: Anterior knee pain, intramedullary nailing, quadriceps


Introduction: Anterior knee pain can be chronic sequelae of intramedullary nailing of the tibia. Several causes have been identified; no single reason can fully explain the occurrence. We, therefore, set out to find the rate of anterior knee pain in our practice and if any relationship exists between the anterior knee pain and extensor muscle strength.

Methodology: A total of 72 knees in 36 patients with no prior history of knee pain, but had unilateral tibiofibular fracture, who had internal fixation with interlocking intramedullary nailing done and were followed up for at least 1 year were recruited into the study. The tension generated on extension of the knee against a resistance using tensiometer was measured in Newton. The ranges of motion of the knees were documented, as well as Lysholm score which measures activities and document the presence and limitation caused by anterior knee pain.

Results: A total of 36 patients with 72 knees were studied. Anterior knee pain occurred in 7 (19.4%) patients in this study. There was no statistically significant relationship between the force of tension (N) generated in the extensor in patients with anterior knee pain compared with those without knee pain (158.43 ± 49.35, 189.54 ± 74.63, P = 0.304). There was, however, a significant statistical relationship between the mean Lysholm score of the operated and unoperated knee (P = 0.042).

Conclusion: Anterior knee pain rate was 19.4% in our series and no statistical association exists between the extensor strength and occurrence of anterior knee pain.

Keywords: Anterior knee pain, intramedullary nailing, quadriceps


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eISSN: 1119-3077