Force sense of the knee is not affected by fatiguing the knee extensors and flexors

Katelyn Allison, Timothy Sell, Anne Benjaminse, Scott Lephart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


: Knee injuries commonly occur in later stages of competition indicating that fatigue may influence dynamic knee stability. Force sense (FS) is a submodality of proprioception influenced by muscle mechanoreceptors, and, if negatively affected by fatigue, may results in less effective neuromuscular control. OBJECTIVES: To determine the effects of peripheral fatigue on FS of the quadriceps and hamstrings. DESIGN: Quasi-experimental study design. PARTICIPANTS: Twenty healthy and physically active females and males (age: 23.4±2.7 years, mass: 69.5±10.9kg, height: 169.7±9.4cm) participated. INTERVENTIONS: Fatigue was induced during a protocol with two sets of 40 repetitions, and the last set truncated at 90 repetitions or stopped if torque production dropped below 25% of peak torque. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: FS of the hamstrings and quadriceps was tested on separate days before and after three sets of isokinetic knee flexion and extension to fatigue by examining the ability to produce a target isometric torque (15% MVIC) with and without visual feedback (FS Error). Electromyographic data of the tested musculature were collected in order to calculate and determine median frequency shift. T-tests and Wilcoxon Signed Rank tests were conducted to examine pre-fatigue and post-fatigue FS Error for flexion and extension. RESULTS: Despite verification of fatigue via torque production decrement and shift in median frequency, no significant differences were observed in FS Error for either knee flexion (pre=0.54±2.28 N·m; post=0.47±1.62 N·m) or extension (pre=-0.28±2.69 N·m; post=-0.21±1.78 N·m) pre-fatigue compared to the post-fatigue condition. CONCLUSIONS: Although previous research has demonstrated that peripheral fatigue negatively affects TTDPM, it did not affect FS as measured in this study. The peripheral fatigue protocol may have a greater effect on the mechanoreceptors responsible for TTDPM than those responsible for FS. Further investigation into the effects of fatigue across various modes of proprioception is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Sport Rehabilitation
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • injuries
  • knee
  • fatigue


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