Physical progress and residual impairment quantification after functional restoration: Part ii: Isokinetic trunk strength

Sue Brady, Tom Mayer, Robert Joseph Gatchel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The current study evaluated human skeletal muscle performance through isokinetic trunk strength testing before and after 3 comprehensive functional restoration program for a group of fSl chronic low back pain (CLBP) patients. Four groups of parents were 'denti*fied; 1| posldiscectomy men fn = 26); 21 unaperated men (n = 90); 3) postdiscectomy women (n = 17); Bnd unoperated women [n « 58t. Patient tost scores were expressed as work normaliied to Pody weight at SO and 1 BO",'second. The absolute scores were afso expressed as "percenl normal" relative to a population average normative database I specific to age and gender), An "effort factor" based on the average points variance (APVI of computer-generated curves was also calculated. Results demonstrated improvements in trunk strength measures at all speeds in fl-exion and extension for all groups. All groups also demonstrated a decrease in APV mean scores after functional restoration, with only 1 of 191 patients remaining in the POOR effort (strength inhibited) group after treatment. The postoperative men showed tho greatest effort improvement, with APV scores in the "good" rBnge increasing from 67% to 91% of the group over the course oT treatment, There was virtually no difference in gender-specific trunk strength scores between postdiscectomy and unoperated patients, either at program entry Or program discharge, However, compered with the normative database of program completion, even in the presence of good effort, persistent residual [and, possibly, permanent) strength impairment was identified. This residual impairment, which is worse in extension than flexion, worse for women than men, and worse at high speeds versus low speeds, documents residual strength impairment at the administrative end-point of maximum medical improvement (i.e., medical stability, permanent and Stationary). The results of this study provide the clinician witii a valuable trunk strength data guide with which to gauge the human performance changes expected during and after spinal functional restoration in CLBP-disabled workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-400
Number of pages3
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1994


  • Disability management
  • Functional restoration
  • Human performance
  • Isokinetic
  • Skeletal mustls
  • Trunk strength


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