fulltext.pdf 812 KB
Accurate assessment of elbow function is important to determine the total ability of the arm. The purpose of this study was to clarify the relationship between isometric muscle strength of the elbows of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Larsen's X-ray evaluation. Fifty-six elbows of 45 RA patients aged 47 to 77 years (mean age, 63 years) were tested. Muscle strength was measured with an isometric torque-cell dynamometer. Test-retest reliability of the dynamometer was proven by measuring 12 elbows of 6 healthy young men. In RA patients, elbow flexion and extension strength decreased in proportion to increases in the severity of Larsen's grades from Grade 1 to 4. However, Grade 5 elbows had greater muscle strength than those in Grade 4. Forearm pronation and supination strength also decreased in proportion to increases in the severity of Larsen's grades from Grade 1 to 5. This quantitative study made it clear that the muscle strength of RA patients' elbows almost completely correlates to X-ray finding according to the grade of Larsen's evaluation based on X-rays. With regard to muscle strength of postoperative elbows, both flexion strength and supination strength after total elbow replacement (TER) were about two times greater than before TER, and after synovectomy it was as great as those in non-operative RA patients of Grade 2.
Larsen's X-ray evaluation
Acta Medica Okayama
Okayama University Medical School
|Web of Science KeyUT|