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A custom-made electronic dynamometer for evaluation of peak ankle torque after COVID-19

Dragoi, II, Popescu, FG, Petrita, T, Alexa, F, Tatu, RF, Bondor, CI, Tatu, C, Bowling, FL, Reeves, ND and Ionac, M (2022) A custom-made electronic dynamometer for evaluation of peak ankle torque after COVID-19. Sensors, 22 (5). p. 2073. ISSN 1424-8220

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Abstract

The negative effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the musculoskeletal system include symptoms of fatigue and sarcopenia. The aim of this study is to assess the impact of COVID-19 on foot muscle strength and evaluate the reproducibility of peak ankle torque measurements in time by using a custom-made electronic dynamometer. In this observational cohort study, we compare two groups of four participants, one exposed to COVID-19 throughout measurements and one unexposed. Peak ankle torque was measured using a portable custom-made electronic dynamometer. Ankle plantar flexor and dorsiflexor muscle strength was captured for both feet at different ankle angles prior and post COVID-19. Average peak torque demonstrated no significant statistical differences between initial and final moment for both groups (p = 0.945). An increase of 4.8%, p = 0.746 was obtained in the group with COVID-19 and a decrease of 1.3%, p = 0.953 was obtained in the group without COVID-19. Multivariate analysis demonstrated no significant differences between the two groups (p = 0.797). There was a very good test–retest reproducibility between the measurements in initial and final moments (ICC = 0.78, p < 0.001). In conclusion, peak torque variability is similar in both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 groups and the custom-made electronic dynamometer is a reproducible method for repetitive ankle peak torque measurements.

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