Contribution of sensory feedback to the generation of extensor activity during walking in the decerebrate Cat. (1/2159)

In this investigation we have estimated the afferent contribution to the generation of activity in the knee and ankle extensor muscles during walking in decerebrate cats by loading and unloading extensor muscles, and by unilateral deafferentation of a hind leg. The total contribution of afferent feedback to extensor burst generation was estimated by allowing one hind leg to step into a hole in the treadmill belt on which the animal was walking. In the absence of ground support the level of activity in knee and ankle extensor muscles was reduced to approximately 70% of normal. Activity in the ankle extensors could be restored during the "foot-in-hole" trials by selectively resisting extension at the ankle. Thus feedback from proprioceptors in the ankle extensor muscles probably makes a large contribution to burst generation in these muscles during weight-bearing steps. Similarly, feedback from proprioceptors in knee extensor appears to contribute substantially to the activation of knee extensor muscles because unloading and loading these muscles, by lifting and dropping the hindquarters, strongly reduced and increased, respectively, the level of activity in the knee extensors. This conclusion was supported by the finding that partial deafferentation of one hind leg by transection of the L4-L6 dorsal roots reduced the level of activity in the knee extensors by approximately 50%, but did not noticeably influence the activity in ankle extensor muscles. However, extending the deafferentation to include the L7-S2 dorsal roots decreased the ankle extensor activity. We conclude that afferent feedback contributes to more than one-half of the input to knee and ankle extensor motoneurons during the stance phase of walking in decerebrate cats. The continuous contribution of afferent feedback to the generation of extensor activity could function to automatically adjust the intensity of activity to meet external demands.  (+info)

Meniscal movement. An in-vivo study using dynamic MRI. (2/2159)

We present the first study in vivo of meniscal movement in normal knees under load. Using an open MR scanner, allowing imaging in physiological positions in near to real-time, 16 young footballers were scanned moving from full extension to 90 degrees flexion in the sagittal and coronal planes. Excursion of the meniscal horns, radial displacement and meniscal height were measured. On weight-bearing, the anterior horn of the medial meniscus moves through a mean of 7.1 mm and the posterior horn through 3.9 mm, with 3.6 mm of mediolateral radial displacement. The height of the anterior horn increases by 2.6 mm and that of the posterior horn by 2.0 mm. The anterior horn of the lateral meniscus moves 9.5 mm and the posterior horn 5.6 mm, with 3.7 mm of radial displacement. The height of the anterior horn increases by 4.0 mm, and that of the posterior horn by 2.4 mm. In non-weight-bearing, the anterior horn of the medial meniscus moves 5.4 mm and the posterior horn 3.8 mm, with 3.3 mm of radial displacement. The anterior horn of the lateral meniscus moves 6.3 mm, and the posterior horn 4.0 mm, with 3.4 mm of radial displacement. The most significant differences between weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing were the movement and vertical height of the anterior horn of the lateral meniscus.  (+info)

Experimental assessment of proximal stent-graft (InterVascular) fixation in human cadaveric infrarenal aortas. (3/2159)

OBJECTIVES: This paper investigates the radial deformation load of an aortic endoluminal prosthesis and determines the longitudinal load required to cause migration in a human cadaveric aorta of the endoprosthesis. DESIGN AND METHODS: The endovascular prosthesis under investigation was a 24 mm diameter, nitinol, self-expanding aortoaortic device (InterVascular, Clearwater, Florida, U.S.A.). Initially, a motorised digital force gauge developed an incremental load which was applied to the ends of five stent-grafts, to a maximum of 10 mm (42%) compression. Secondly, using a simple bench model, each ends of four stent-grafts were deployed into 10 cadaveric experimental aneurysm necks and a longitudinal load applied to effect distraction. RESULTS: Increasing load produced increasing percentage deformation of the stent-grafts. The mean longitudinal distraction load for an aneurysm neck of 20 mm was 409 g (200-480 g), for 15 mm was 277 g (130-410 g) and for 10 mm was 218 g (130-340 g). The aneurysm diameter and aortic calcification had p values of 0.002 and 0.047, respectively, while the p value for aneurysm neck length was less than 0.00001. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that there is a theoretical advantage of oversizing an aortic prosthesis and that sufficient anchorage is achieved in an aortic neck of 10 mm to prevent migration when fully deployed.  (+info)

Control of fingertip forces in multidigit manipulation. (4/2159)

Previous studies of control of fingertip forces in skilled manipulation have focused on tasks involving two digits, typically the thumb and index finger. Here we examine control of fingertip actions in a multidigit task in which subjects lifted an object using unimanual and bimanual grasps engaging the tips of the thumb and two fingers. The grasps resembled those used when lifting a cylindrical object from above; the two fingers were some 4.25 cm apart and the thumb was approximately 5.54 cm from either finger. The three-dimensional forces and torques applied by each digit and the digit contact positions were measured along with the position and orientation of the object. The vertical forces applied tangential to the grasp surfaces to lift the object were synchronized across the digits, and the contribution by each digit to the total vertical force reflected intrinsic object properties (geometric relationship between the object's center of mass and the grasped surfaces). Subjects often applied small torques tangential to the grasped surfaces even though the object could have been lifted without such torques. The normal forces generated by each digit increased in parallel with the local tangential load (force and torque), providing an adequate safety margin against slips at each digit. In the present task, the orientations of the force vectors applied by the separate digits were not fully constrained and therefore the motor controller had to choose from a number of possible solutions. Our findings suggest that subjects attempt to minimize (or at least reduce) fingertip forces while at the same time ensure that grasp stability is preserved. Subjects also avoid horizontal tangential forces, even at a small cost in total force. Moreover, there were subtle actions exerted by the digits that included changes in the distribution of vertical forces across digits and slight object tilt. It is not clear to what extent the brain explicitly controlled these actions, but they could serve, for instance, to keep tangential torques small and to compensate for variations in digit contact positions. In conclusion, we have shown that when lifting an object with a three-digit grip, the coordination of fingertip forces, in many respects, matches what has been documented previously for two-digit grasping. At the same time, our study reveals novel aspects of force control that emerge only in multidigit manipulative tasks.  (+info)

A chest wall restrictor to study effects on pulmonary function and exercise. 1. Development and validation. (5/2159)

Chest wall-restrictive loading reduces a person's ability to expand the chest wall during inhalation and results in decrements in lung capacities, resting pulmonary function, and ultimately, exercise performance. Chest wall restriction is observed in some forms of skeletal and pulmonary diseases (e.g., scoliosis) as well as in occupational situations (e.g., bulletproof vests). We have designed a constant-pressure chest wall-restrictive device that provides a quantifiable and reproducible load on the chest. This paper describes the device and the initial pulmonary function tests conducted. Ten subjects participated in this study. Subjects wore the restrictive device while performing pulmonary function tests at four externally added restrictive loads on three separate occasions. A two-way repeated-measures multivariate analysis of variance revealed significant decreases in forced expiratory vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1.0) at each load while the ratio of FEV1.0 to FVC (FEV1.0%) was maintained. No significant differences in any variable were found across time or between the seated and standing position. These results indicate that this chest wall-restrictive device provides a quantifiable added inspiratory load in the breathing cycle that results in reproducible decrements in pulmonary function representative of those seen in some restrictive pulmonary disease and occupational situations.  (+info)

A chest wall restrictor to study effects on pulmonary function and exercise. 2. The energetics of restrictive breathing. (6/2159)

Chest wall restriction, whether caused by disease or mechanical constraints such as protective outerwear, can cause decrements in pulmonary function and exercise capacity. However, the study of the oxygen cost associated with mechanical chest restriction has so far been purely qualitative. The previous paper in this series described a device to impose external chest wall restriction, its effects on forced spirometric volumes, and its test-retest reliability. The purpose of this experiment was to measure the oxygen cost associated with varied levels of external chest wall restriction. Oxygen uptake and electromyogram (EMG) of the external intercostals were recorded during chest restriction in 10 healthy males. Subjects rested for 9 min before undergoing volitional isocapnic hyperpnea for 6 min. Subjects breathed at minute ventilations (V.I) of 30, 60, and 90 liters/min with chest wall loads of 0, 25, 50 and 75 mm Hg applied. Frequency of breathing was set at 15, 30, and 45 breaths per minute with a constant tidal volume (VT) of 2 liters. Oxygen uptake was measured continuously at rest and throughout the hyperventilation bouts, while controlling V.I and VT. Integrated EMG (IEMG) from the 3rd intercostal space was recorded during each minute of rest and hyperventilation. Two-way ANOVA with repeated measures revealed that chest wall loading and hyperpnea significantly increased V.O2 values (p < 0.01). External intercostal IEMG levels were significantly increased (p < 0.05) at higher restrictive load (50 and 75 mm Hg) and at the highest minute ventilation (90 liters/min). These data suggest that there is a significant and quantifiable increase in the oxygen cost associated with external chest wall restriction which is directly related to the level of chest wall restriction.  (+info)

The influence of weight-bearing on the measurement of polyethylene wear in THA. (7/2159)

We have studied the influence of weight-bearing on the measurement of wear of the polyethylene acetabular component in total hip arthroplasty using two techniques. The measured vertical wear was significantly greater when radiographs were taken weight-bearing rather than with the patient supine (p = 0.001, method 1; p = 0.007, method 2). Calculations of rates of linear wear of the acetabular component were significantly underestimated (p < 0.05) when radiographs were taken supine. There are two reasons for this. First, a change in pelvic orientation when bearing weight ensures that the thinnest polyethylene is brought into relief, and secondly, the head of the femoral component assumes the position of maximal displacement along its wear path. Interpretation of previous studies on both linear and volumetric polyethylene wear in total hip arthroplasty should be reassessed in the light of these findings.  (+info)

Dynamic strength of the quadriceps muscle and sports activity. (8/2159)

The study objectives were to examine the dynamic strength of the quadriceps muscle in athletes, and investigate its association with participation in sport. The study comprised 168 active competitive non-pregnant athletes, aged 14-24 years. The dynamic strength of their quadriceps muscle was measured, and they answered a questionnaire about sports activity and occupation. The dynamic strength of the quadriceps muscle was significantly higher in men than in women, and was positively associated with body weight, years of jogging, years of soccer, and weekly hours of basketball. In conclusion, the dynamic strength of the quadriceps muscle seems to be associated with sports activity. The results suggest sport specific adaptation, which may reflect high levels of running and jumping activity.  (+info)