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A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology

Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111

Frequency: Monthly

ISSN 0022-4707

Online ISSN 1827-1928


The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2015 Nov 26

A novel apparatus for active leg exercise improves venous flow in the lower extremity

Shimizu Y. 1, 2, 3, Kamada H. 2, Sakane M. 2, Aikawa S. 4, Mutsuzaki H. 3, Tanaka K. 2, Mishima H. 2, Ochiai N. 2, 5, Yamazaki M. 2

1 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Tsukuba Hospital, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan;
2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan;
3 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Ibaraki Prefectural University of Health Sciences Hospital, Ami-city, Inashiki-gun, Ibaraki, Japan;
4 Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Tsukuba Hospital, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan;
5 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kikkoman General Hospital, Chiba, Japan

AIM: Venous thromboembolism is a serious complication associated with major orthopedic surgery to the lower extremities. Though active ankle exercise is recommended, postoperative patients with surgical pain may have difficulty moving their ankles. Therefore, we developed a novel leg exercise apparatus (LEX) to facilitate active ankle movement during the early postoperative period. We describe how LEX facilitates active movement of the leg, and thereby increases venous flow in the lower extremities.
METHODS: The femoral venous flow volume and velocity in 8 healthy volunteers (5 men, 3 women; mean age, 22.4 years; age range, 22–26 years), were measured using duplex ultrasonography. Measurements were repeated 1, 3, 5, and 10 min after the completion of 1 min of active ankle exercise using LEX, and during a 10-min period of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) device use.
RESULTS: The flow volume after 1 min of LEX exercise increased 2.63-fold from baseline; elevated values persisted for 10 min. Flow volume at 10 min was increased 1.71-fold from baseline. The corresponding values during IPC did not differ from resting values. The mean velocity 1 min after LEX exercise increased 2.34-fold from baseline; in contrast, mean velocity 1 min after the start of IPC had decreased 0.90-fold (p = 0.009).
CONCLUSION: A 1-min period of LEX exercise improved venous flow in the lower extremities, compared with continuous use of IPC. Use of LEX might facilitate improved ankle mobility, and therefore reduced risk of thromboembolism, in postoperative patients.

language: English


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