Yasuyoshi Asakawa1), Tome Ikezoe1), Kan Hazaki1), Ichiro Kawano2), Seigo Irie2), Hideto Kanzaki2), Nobuo Aoki3)
1) Division of Physical Therapy, College of Medical Technology, Kyoto University, 53 Shougoin Kawahara-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-city 606-01, Japan. 2) Department of Physical Therapy, Kyoto University Hospital 3) Kenkoen Geriatric Clinic
Keywords: Fall, Knee extension strength, Elderly
This study examined the relationship between falls and knee extension strength in the eldely. Twenty-seven elderly persons who resided at the same home for aged were asked about their individual histories of falling during the previous year, including the location where the fall had occured, such as near the bed, in the toilet, or in the corridor.
The isometric maximal knee extension strength of the subjects was determined, measured by a hand-held dynamometer in the knee flexed at 90 degrees, as a percentage of their weight. Calculations were obtained on the dominant side and non-dominant side, and the sum of both sides was also noted.
The subjects were then divided into two groups: no-fall group (n=18), and fall group (n=9). The fall group was further divided into the fall outside the home group (n=2) and the fall in the home group (n=7). The knee extension strength was compared by two-sample t-test between the no-fall and the fall outside the home group, and between the no-fall and the fall in the home group.
In addition, the range of knee extension strength in the fall in the home group was examined by scattergraph, in which the knee extension strength of all subjects were plotted. The two-sample t-test revealed significant differences in knee extension strength between the no-fall group and the fall in the home group (p<0.05). The scattergraph indicated that the knee extension strength of the subjects who had a fall in the home was at a range less than approximately 35% of their weight.
These results suggested that poor knee extension strength was closely related to falls in the home, and it is thus desirable that elderly maintain their knee extension strength above approximately 35% of their weight in each side to prevent falls in the home.
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