Structural and physical-functional deficits in lower limbs with fractures and treated surgically

Micaele Aparecida Furlan de Oliveira, Osmair Gomes de Macedo, Lilian Carolina Rodrigues da Silva, Thaís Santos Oliveira, Martim Bottaro, Wagner Rodrigues Martins


Introduction: A fracture is a traumatic bone injury that can occur from a variety of causes. Although the repercussions of fractures on the musculoskeletal system are documented, studies with more comprehensive outcomes and later stages of injury are still scarce. Objective: To evaluate the structural and physical-functional adaptations in individuals who suffered unilateral lower limb fractures treated surgically. Methods: Thirty-two patients of both genders, aged between 18 and 59 years, with diagnosis of unilateral fracture of the lower limb and hospital discharge of at least one year, participated in the study. The affected lower limb was compared to the healthy lower limb of all participants using the outcome measures: vastus lateral muscle thickness (ultrasonography), knee extension and flexion strength (isokinetic dynamometer), ankle dorsiflexion range of motion of the distance from the foot to the wall) and functional fitness of the lower limb (single and triple horizontal jump test). Results: Statistically significant differences were found between the limbs affected and not affected in the measurements of muscle thickness (p = 0.0001), knee extension force (p = 0.0094), dorsiflexion amplitude (p = 0.0004) and functional performance (p = 0.0094, single jump and = 0.0114, triple jump). In all significant outcomes the values of the affected limb were smaller than that of the non-affected limb. The peak torque of the knee flexor muscles did not show a statistically significant difference between limbs (p = 0.0624). Conclusion: Individuals who have undergone a surgically treated unilateral fracture of the lower limb present important structural and physical-functional late changes in relation to the non-affected limb.

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