Objective. Investigation of the influence of weakness in the vastus medialis oblique muscle on patellar tracking.Design. In vitro biomechanical study.Background. Currently, the influence of weakness in the vastus medialis oblique muscle on patellar tracking has not been well understood. Methods. Seven human cadaveric knees were used. The direction of loading forces in the rectus femoris/vastus intermedius, vastus medialis oblique, and the vastus lateralis muscles was decided by the muscle alignment of each cadaver knee measured at the time of dissection. The loads used were 60 N in the rectus femoris, 50 N in the vastus lateralis, and 40 N in the vastus medialis oblique, according to the ratio calculated from the cross-sectional study. The weakness of vastus medialis oblique was simulated at 30 N (75%), 20 N (50%), 10 N (25%), and 0 N (0%), and the patellar position was measured for each condition using a magnetic 3 Space Tracker System. The influence of weakness in the vastus medialis oblique muscle on patellar position was investigated with seven cadaver knees using a magnetic 3 Space Tracker® System. Results. At 0°and 15°of knee flexion, 75%, 50%, 25% and 0% of the normal vastus medialis oblique muscle led to a significant difference in lateral patellar shift compared to the normal (P<0.05). Conclusions. Weakness of the vastus medialis caused the patellar lateral shift at 0°and 15°of knee flexion. Relevance. Weakness of the vastus medialis is thought to be an important factor causing patellar subluxation and dislocation. Understanding the relationship between the vastus medialis weakness and patellar tracking will be useful in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of patellar subluxation and dislocation. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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