Introduction: Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common musculoskeletal disorder among the elderly population. Quadriceps muscle weakness is one of the biological factors that may contribute to knee pain. There was only limited evidence that higher quadriceps strength may improve knee pain. This study investigates whether quadriceps strengthening improves pain, joint stability, and quality of life (QOL) in OA patients.
Materials and methodology: Prospective study was done among the outpatients visiting the orthopaedic department, Velammal Medical College Hospital & Research Institute, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. The study period is between 1st October 2020 and 1st January 2021. We had 340 OA knee patients in the age-group <65 years who met the inclusion criteria as the study participants. Patients were randomly assigned to two groups A and B by card method. Group A is the case group, and group B is the control group. The patients allocated in the case group underwent isometric exercise (isometric hip adduction, isometric quadriceps exercise, and straight leg raise exercise) along with pharmacotherapy and lifestyle modification advices. The control group only had pharmacotherapy and lifestyle modification advices. The Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Scale (KOOS) scale was used to measure the outcome.
Results: Unpaired t-test was used to compare between two groups, reduction in pain intensity (0.001**), improvement in QOL (0.001**), and improvement in joint stability (0.001**) in the isometric exercise group at the end of the 8th week were significantly greater than those of the control group (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The 8-week isometric quadriceps exercise program showed beneficial effects on pain, QOL, and joint stability in patients with OA of the knee.
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