Dynamometry is widely used to measure subject strength. The method employed to correct dynamometry scores for gravitational influences can result in differing correction estimates. This study investigates differences between mathematical estimates of correction values and directly measured passive forces. Using the Kin-Com dynamometer, passive force measurements from 90° of knee flexion to full extension were collected for 9 asymptomatic subjects. These measurements were then compared with correction estimates mathematically extrapolated from a force reading obtained at 1 point in the test range. Direct passive measurements obtained between 0° and 70° of knee flexion and mathematical estimations of correction values differed by as much as 50 N. The equivalence of gravity correction values obtained using the 2 methods detailed cannot be assumed. Mathematical estimates of correction values for knee scores obtained between 0° and 90° of flexion were found to be clinically identical to direct passive measurements when: 1) the limb was weighed close to 50° of flexion and 2) the angular location of the lower limb mass relative to the horizontal was not assumed to be represented by the angular location of the lever arm, but rather 15° further below the horizontal than the lever arm.
J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1996;24(3):142-153.
Key Words: muscle strength, measurement, correction for segment weight