The effect of general anesthesia on passive-knee-extension range of motion

T. P. Dompier, C. R. Denegar, W. E. Buckley, S. J. Miller, J. Hertel, W. J. Sebastianelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Context: Flexibility is promoted as essential to physical fitness, but the mechanisms limiting it are not fully understood. Objective: To investigate the effects of general anesthesia on hamstring extensibility. Design: Repeated measures. Setting: Hospital operating room. Subjects: Eight volunteers undergoing orthopedic surgeries unrelated to the tested limb. Measurement: Three measurements of passive knee extension (PKE) taken before and after administration of general anesthesia. The force applied during the measurements was consistent between trials. Results: Mean PKE range of motion (ROM) was significantly greater before anesthesia (75.0° ± 11.8°) than after (53.3° ± 17°; t = 5.6, P < .001). Pearson product correlation revealed a significant correlation between the mean difference in PKE ROM between treatment conditions and subjects' body weight (r = .91, P < .05). Conclusions: The findings might be attributable to diminished neural drive to the antagonist muscle groups and suggest a more complex neural control of flexibility than simply neural drive to an agonist muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-266
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sport Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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