Reliability, responsiveness, and validity of handheld dynamometry for assessing quadriceps strength in total knee arthroplasty

Andrew J. Kittelson, Jesse C. Christensen, Brian J. Loyd, Kristine L. Burrows, Johna Iannitto, Jennifer E. Stevens-Lapsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To determine the reliability, responsiveness, validity, and agreement of handheld dynamometry, relative to electromechanical dynamometry, for assessing quadriceps strength surrounding total knee arthroplasty. Methods: Fifty-six patients (48% female) undergoing total knee arthroplasty were assessed prior to surgery and at 2 and 6 weeks following surgery. Maximum isometric quadriceps force was assessed at each time point by handheld dynamometry and electromechanical dynamometry. Within-session test–retest reliability was determined by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Standard error of measurement and relative standard error (RSE) values were calculated. Standardized response means were used to describe responsiveness. Pearson's correlations examined construct validity. Agreement was assessed by the Bland–Altman method. Results: Both handheld dynamometry and electromechanical dynamometry demonstrated excellent test–retest reliability (ICC >0.90) and RSE (<15%). Both methods were responsive, with large postoperative standardized response means of 1.57 (handheld dynamometry) and 1.37 (electromechanical dynamometry). Pearson's correlations were moderate to strong. The Bland–Altman analysis revealed underestimation of force by handheld dynamometry, although this effect was diminished in the early postoperative period. Conclusions: Our results suggest handheld dynamometry is a promising tool for monitoring quadriceps strength in patients pre- and post-total knee arthroplasty.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION This study provides evidence of high reliability and responsiveness of handheld dynamometry for assessing quadriceps strength throughout a clinically relevant time frame for patients with total knee arthroplasty. There is construct validity of handheld dynamometry for measuring quadriceps strength, with moderate to high correlations between handheld dynamometry and electromechanical dynamometry, both pre- and post-total knee arthroplasty. Rehabilitation professionals should be aware that handheld dynamometry and electromechanical dynamometry do not agree in terms of the force measurement itself; particularly at higher force values, handheld dynamometry underestimates force output relative to electromechanical dynamometry. Overall, this study supports the use of handheld dynamometry for monitoring quadriceps strength in clinical settings for patient with total knee arthroplasty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3070-3077
Number of pages8
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Volume43
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Total knee arthroplasty
  • handheld dynamometry
  • quadriceps strength
  • reliability
  • responsiveness
  • validity

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