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Recovery from muscle weakness by exercise and FES: lessons from Masters, active or sedentary seniors and SCI patients.Many factors contribute to the decline of skeletal muscle that occurs as we age. This is a reality that we may combat, but not prevent because it is written into our genome. The series of records from World Master Athletes reveals that skeletal muscle power begins to decline at the age of 30 years and continues, almost linearly, to zero at the age of 110 years. Here we discuss evidence that denervation contributes to the atrophy and slowness of aged muscle. We compared muscle from lifelong active seniors to that of sedentary elderly people and found that the sportsmen have more muscle bulk and slow fiber type groupings, providing evidence that physical activity maintains slow motoneurons which reinnervate muscle fibers. Further, accelerated muscle atrophy/degeneration occurs with irreversible Conus and Cauda Equina syndrome, a spinal cord injury in which the human leg muscles may be permanently disconnected from the nervous system with complete loss of muscle fibers within 5-8 years. We used histological morphometry and Muscle Color Computed Tomography to evaluate muscle from these peculiar persons and reveal that contraction produced by home-based Functional Electrical Stimulation (h-bFES) recovers muscle size and function which is reversed if h-bFES is discontinued. FES also reverses muscle atrophy in sedentary seniors and modulates mitochondria in horse muscles. All together these observations indicate that FES modifies muscle fibers by increasing contractions per day. Thus, FES should be considered in critical care units, rehabilitation centers and nursing facilities when patients are unable or reluctant to exercise.
Singularity-free finite element model of bone through automated voxel-based reconstruction.Computed tomography (CT) provides both anatomical and density information about tissues. Bone is segmented by raw images and Finite Element Method (FEM) voxel-based meshing technique is achieved by matching each CT voxel to a single finite element (FE). As a consequence of the automated model reconstruction, unstable elements - i.e. elements insufficiently anchored to the whole model and thus potentially involved in partial rigid body motion - can be generated, a crucial problem in obtaining consistent FE models, hindering mechanical analyses. Through the classification of instabilities on topological connections between elements, a numerical procedure is proposed in order to avoid unconstrained models.
Effects of sustained electrical stimulation on spasticity assessed by the pendulum testNeuromodulation using electrical stimulation is able to enhance motor control of individuals suffering an upper motor neuron disorder. This work examined the effect of sustained electrical stimulation to modify spasticity in the leg muscles. We applied transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation with a pulse rate of 50 Hz for 30 min. The subjects were assessed before and after the intervention using in a pendulum test setup. The motion of the free swinging leg was acquired through video tracking and goniometer measurements. The quantification was done through the R2n index which shows consistency identifying the spasticity levels. In all incomplete SCI subjects having severe spasticity, the results show that electrical stimulation is effective to modify the increased muscle tone.
Variations in pain and function before and after total knee arthroplasty: a comparison between Swedish and Australian cohorts.OBJECTIVE: Preoperative pain and function is viewed as an important predictor of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) outcomes. We examined whether variations in pain and function outcomes existed at 12 months between two centres in Sweden and Australia, and whether this was explained by variations in patient presentation for TKA. METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data. Patients from one centre in Australia (St. Vincent's Hospital (SVH), N = 516) and in Sweden (Trelleborg (TBG), N = 899) who underwent primary TKA between 2012 and 2013. The Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) was analysed pre- and 12 months' post TKA from which non-response to surgery was determined using the OMERACT-OARSI criteria. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between change in pain and function and surgery centre, adjusting for preoperative patient characteristics and surgical technique. RESULTS: Despite worse preoperative outcomes in all subscales of the WOMAC for the SVH cohort, there were no clinically meaningful differences in 12-month WOMAC subscales nor change in WOMAC subscales between SVH and TBG. Almost identical proportions of patients were considered OMERACT-OARSI responders, 85.7% (SVH) and 85.9% (TBG), however for the SVH cohort 25 (4.9%) were moderate and 417 (80.8%) were high responders, compared to the TBG cohort of which 225 (25%) were moderate and 547 (60.9%) were high responders. CONCLUSION: Despite differences in preoperative presentation between 2 countries, improvements in pain and function and the proportion of individual who responded to TKA surgery at 1 year were similar. Factors related to poor response to TKA surgery require further elucidation.
Substantial rise in the lifetime risk of primary total knee replacement surgery for osteoarthritis from 2003 to 2013: an international, population-level analysis.OBJECTIVE: To estimate and compare the lifetime risk of total knee replacement surgery (TKR) for osteoarthritis (OA) between countries, and over time. METHOD: Data on primary TKR procedures performed for OA in 2003 and 2013 were extracted from national arthroplasty registries in Australia, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Life tables and population data were also obtained for each country. Lifetime risk of TKR was calculated for 2003 and 2013 using registry, life table and population data. RESULTS: Marked international variation in lifetime risk of TKR was evident, with females consistently demonstrating the greatest risk. In 2013, Finland had the highest lifetime risk for females (22.8%, 95%CI 22.5-23.1%) and Australia had the highest risk for males (15.4%, 95%CI 15.1-15.6%). Norway had the lowest lifetime risk for females (9.7%, 95%CI 9.5-9.9%) and males (5.8%, 95%CI 5.6-5.9%) in 2013. All countries showed a significant rise in lifetime risk of TKR for both sexes over the 10-year study period, with the largest increases observed in Australia (females: from 13.6% to 21.1%; males: from 9.8% to 15.4%). CONCLUSIONS: Using population-based data, this study identified significant increases in the lifetime risk of TKR in all five countries from 2003 to 2013. Lifetime risk of TKR was as high as 1 in 5 women in Finland, and 1 in 7 males in Australia. These risk estimates quantify the healthcare resource burden of knee OA at the population level, providing an important resource for public health policy development and healthcare planning.