ObjectiveThe purpose of this study was to compare the mechanical activity of the neck muscles during loaded arm lifting tasks in individuals with long-standing disability after anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF) with that of healthy controls.MethodsTen individuals (mean age, 60 years; SD, 7.1) who underwent ACDF (10-13 years previously) for cervical disc disease and 10 healthy age- and sex-matched controls participated in the study. Ultrasonography was used to investigate the degree of deformation and deformation rate of ventral and dorsal neck muscles at the C4 segmental level during a single (1 × arm flexion to 120°) and repeated (10 × arm flexion to 90°) loaded arm elevation condition.ResultsThe ACDF group showed greater deformation and deformation rate of the longus capitis (P = .02) and deformation rate of the sternocleidomastoid (P = .04) during the 120° arm lift. For repeated 90° arm lift, there was a significant group effect with higher deformation rate values observed in the longus capitis (P = .005-.01) and multifidus (P = .03) muscles in the ACDF group. Muscle behavior did not change the repeated arm lifts (no group × time interactions) for either the ventral or the dorsal muscles.ConclusionsFor study participants, greater muscle mechanical activity levels were observed in the ventral and multifidus muscles of patients with persistent symptoms after ACDF. These differences may indicate altered motor strategy in this patient group when performing the upper limb task and may need to be considered when prescribing exercise for postsurgical rehabilitation.
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP -- Hälsovetenskaper (hsv//swe)
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES -- Health Sciences (hsv//eng)