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More than 50 per cent of knee disabilities, excluding fracture and dislocation, were found to be the result of internal derangement; of these one-half required surgical treatment.
Meniscectomy is an essential part of correcting internal derangement of the knee joint but in the absence of restoration of quadriceps muscle strength, full weight-bearing power of the leg will be delayed. Surgeons are generally careless as applied physiologists in combining surgical intervention and accepted means of restoring quadriceps muscle power in the treatment of knee joint disability. Postmeniscectomy complaints in eighteen men were found to be due in more than one-half to quadriceps atrophy and in two because of incomplete removal of the semilunar cartilage.
The spring scale muscle test is suitable for employment as an objective means of determining the progress of quadriceps muscle recovery after injury or arthrotomy of the knee joint. Failure to assay correctly quadriceps restoration may be the result of not employing such subjective measurements.
Undue delay of chondrectomy is undesirable as it allows development of quadriceps atrophy and often trauma to the articular surfaces of the femur.
An adequate follow-up study on all patients treated in military hospitals and also those separated from the service is desirable in order to conserve the fighting strength of the army by ascertaining the effect of improved surgical and medical treatment.
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Received: September 20, 1948
© 1949 Published by Elsevier Inc.