A purpose-built dynamometer to objectively measure static and dynamic knee torque
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This paper reports the development of a purpose-built knee dynamometer (PBKD) to evaluate passive range of motion (ROM) and isometric muscle strength measurements of the knee. The PBKD uses a TorqSense rotary torque transducer and objectively measures isometric knee muscle strength in a valid and reliable manner and passive resistance to motion through range. The device and all associated instrumentation underwent dynamic and static calibration to ensure consistent and accurate measurements were obtained in terms of knee joint angular position, passive torque measures, and isometric torque measures. Eleven healthy male participants performed a knee flexion and extension task designed to evaluate knee function. The validation of the PBKD entailed measuring the consistency of measurement and accuracy of measurement. Accuracy of the PBKD was determined by comparing peak isometric muscle strength measurements against a KIN-COM machine. No significant differences were observed both passively and isometrically between cycles and between trials. This device can have widespread applications within the rehabilitation and clinical environment and could be used as a functional outcome measuring tool to distinguish pathological from non-pathological knees. The presented preliminary results indicate that reliable and accurate measurements of knee ROM and muscle strength can be obtained.
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