Altered vastii recruitment when people with patellofemoral pain syndrome complete a postural task

Cowan, Sallie M., Hodges, Paul W., Bennell, Kim L. and Crossley, Kay M. (2002) Altered vastii recruitment when people with patellofemoral pain syndrome complete a postural task. Archives of Physical Medicine And Rehabilitation, 83 7: 989-995. doi:10.1053/apmr.2002.33234

Author Cowan, Sallie M.
Hodges, Paul W.
Bennell, Kim L.
Crossley, Kay M.
Title Altered vastii recruitment when people with patellofemoral pain syndrome complete a postural task
Journal name Archives of Physical Medicine And Rehabilitation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0003-9993
Publication date 2002-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1053/apmr.2002.33234
Volume 83
Issue 7
Start page 989
End page 995
Total pages 7
Editor Kenneth M. Jaffe
Michael A. Vasko
Place of publication Maryland Heights, MO, United States
Publisher W.B. Saunders
Collection year 2002
Language eng
Subject 730303 Occupational, speech and physiotherapy
321024 Rehabilitation and Therapy - Occupational and Physical
Formatted abstract
To investigate the recruitment of the vastus medialis obliquus (VMO) and vastus lateralis during voluntary tasks that challenge the stability of the knee and to evaluate whether there is a change in the coordination of the postural response by the central nervous system in subjects with patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS).


University laboratory in Australia.

Thirty-seven subjects with PFPS and 37 asymptomatic sex-matched controls.


Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measures:
Recordings of electromyographic activity of the VMO, vastus lateralis, tibialis anterior, and soleus were made by using surface electrodes. Subjects rose onto their toes (rise task) or rocked back on their heels (rock task) in a visual choice-reaction time task. Electromyographic onsets were determined by using a computer algorithm and were verified visually.


Our results confirm that, in asymptomatic subjects, contraction of the VMO and vastus lateralis occurs as part of the feed-forward postural response associated with ankle movements in standing, and the contraction of these separate heads of the quadriceps group occurs simultaneously. However, when subjects with PFPS perform identical tasks, the electromyographic onset of the vastus lateralis occurs before that of the VMO.

These findings indicate a difference in motor control in subjects with PFPS. They also support the hypothesized relation between changes in the timing of activity of the vastii and PFPS and provide the theoretic rationale to support physiotherapy treatment commonly used in the management of PFPS.
Keyword Rehabilitation
Sport Sciences
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Available online 9 July 2002.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Created: Tue, 14 Aug 2007, 18:29:44 EST