Objective: To investigate the immediate effect of electrical stimulation of the common peroneal nerve on the maximum voluntary activation of the quadriceps muscle in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Methodology: Fifteen subjects with knee osteoarthritis (mean age: 50.5 ± 13 years) participated in this study. To measure the arthrogenic inhibition ratio of quadriceps, a burst of electrical stimulation was superimposed on the maximum voluntary contraction, and the percentage of change in the force production was computed. The same measurement was also performed with concurrent electrical stimulation of the common peroneal nerve. Results: All the patients with knee osteoarthritis showed significant arthrogenic inhibition of the quadriceps muscle. The stimulation of the common peroneal nerve was able to reduce this inhibition and increase the capacity of the muscle to produce a significantly higher knee extension force (p = 0.028). Conclusions: Electrical stimulation of the common peroneal nerve concurrent with the maximum voluntary effort can remove the arthrogenic inhibition of the quadriceps muscle in patients with knee osteoarthritis. This finding could have clinical implications in the management of patients with knee disorders.
- Common peroneal nerve