Functional electrical stimulation of gluteus medius reduces the medial joint reaction force of the knee during level walking

File Description SizeFormat 
art%3A10.1186%2Fs13075-016-1155-2.pdfPublished version882.94 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Manuscript_revised.docxAccepted version86.01 kBMicrosoft WordView/Open
Title: Functional electrical stimulation of gluteus medius reduces the medial joint reaction force of the knee during level walking
Authors: Rane, L
Bull, AMJ
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Background: By altering muscular activation patterns, internal forces acting on the human body during dynamic activity may be manipulated. The magnitude of one of these forces, the medial knee joint reaction force (JRF), is associated with disease progression in patients with early osteoarthritis (OA), suggesting utility in its targeted reduction. Increased activation of gluteus medius has been suggested as a means to achieve this. Methods: Motion capture equipment and forceplate transducers were used to obtain kinematic and kinetic data for 15 healthy subjects during level walking, with and without the application of functional electrical stimulation (FES) to gluteus medius. Musculoskeletal modelling was employed to determine the medial knee JRF during stance phase for each trial. A further computer simulation of increased gluteus medius activation was performed using data from normal walking trials by a manipulation of modelling parameters. Relationships between changes in the medial knee JRF, kinematics and ground reaction force were evaluated. Results: In simulations of increased gluteus medius activity, the total impulse of the medial knee JRF was reduced by 4.2% (p=0.003) compared to control. With real-world application of FES to the muscle, the magnitude of this reduction increased to 12.5% (p<0.001), with significant inter-subject variation. Across subjects, the magnitude of reduction correlated strongly with kinematic (p<0.001) and kinetic (p<0.001) correlates of gluteus medius activity. Conclusions: The results support a major role for gluteus medius in the protection of the knee for patients with OA, establishing the muscle’s central importance to effective therapeutic regimes. FES may be used to achieve increased activation in order to mitigate distal internal loads, and much of the benefit of this increase can be attributed to resulting changes in kinematic parameters and the ground reaction force. The utility of interventions targeting gluteus medius can be assessed in a relatively straightforward way by determination of the magnitude of reduction in pelvic drop, an easily accessed marker of aberrant loading at the knee.
Issue Date: 3-Nov-2016
Date of Acceptance: 17-Oct-2016
ISSN: 1478-6354
Publisher: BioMed Central
Journal / Book Title: Arthritis Research & Therapy
Volume: 18
Copyright Statement: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Functional electrical stimulation
Gluteus medius
Medial knee joint reaction force
Musculoskeletal modelling
Osteoarthritis treatment
Arthritis & Rheumatology
Clinical Sciences
Public Health And Health Services
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 255
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

Creative Commonsx