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

, : A novel apparatus for active leg exercise improves venous flow in the lower extremity. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness (): -

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. 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. 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). 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.


PMID: 26609971

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