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MRI Determination of Muscle Recruitment Variations in Dynamic Ankle Plantar Flexion Exercise

Yanagisawa, Osamu MS; Niitsu, Mamoru MD, PhD; Yoshioka, Hiroshi MD, PhD; Goto, Kazushige MS; Itai, Yuji MD, PhD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: October 2003 - Volume 82 - Issue 10 - p 760-765
doi: 10.1097/01.PHM.0000087460.38514.E7
Research Articles: Muscle Recruitment

Yanagisawa O, Niitsu M, Yoshioka H, Goto K, Itai Y: Magnetic resonance imaging determination of muscle recruitment variations in dynamic ankle plantar flexion exercise. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2003;82:760–765.

Objective The purpose of this study was to investigate the muscle recruitment variations in the dynamic ankle plantar flexion.

Design A total of 17 subjects participated in this study and performed the ankle plantar flexion exercise. Magnetic resonance T2-weighted images were obtained from the calf before and immediately after exercise to calculate each T2 relaxation time in the medial and lateral gastrocnemius, soleus, tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum/hallucis longus, peroneus longus, and dorsiflexors.

Results All the muscles except the dorsiflexors showed significantly increased T2 relaxation time and signal intensity on T2-weighted images after exercise. Above all, both gastrocnemius muscles showed significantly greater postexercise T2 relaxation time than the soleus, tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum/hallucis longus, and dorsiflexors. In addition, the peroneus longus had a tendency to show the greatest T2 relaxation time next to the gastrocnemius, but there was no significant difference between them.

Conclusions The present study may suggest that the gastrocnemius muscle, especially the medial side, was best recruited in the dynamic ankle plantar flexion exercise. In addition, it is possible that the peroneus longus was most recruited next to the gastrocnemius in this exercise mode.

From the Doctoral Programs in Medical Science (OY) and Health and Sport Sciences (KG) and the Department of Radiology, Institute of Clinical Medicine (MN, HY, YI), University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Supported, in part, by a University of Tsukuba Research Project Grant.

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addresses to Osamu Yanagisawa, MS, Doctoral Program in Medical Science, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan 305-8575.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.