Comparison of Electromyography and Functional Movement Screening as Indicators of Return to Full Activity: A Case Study

Faculty Sponsor

Kelly Helm


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-2015


The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of combined FMS and EMG measurements as indicators of return to full-activity post-arthroscopic knee surgery. The question was: Are there any advantages to using both FMS and EMG as indicators of return to full activity?

Prescreening of a physically active female prior to arthroscopic knee surgery included FMS and EMG assessments as well as 30 cm box jumps and LESS jumps. Post-surgery assessments occurred weekly with final assessment collected week nine post-surgery.

Nine-week FMS data analysis indicated that full recovery from surgery had been realized. Pre-surgery FMS and nine-week post-surgery FMS scores were both 16. Nine-week EMG data analysis did not indicate that full recovery had occurred. Rectus Femoris activation post-surgery for FMS squat indicated 33% less strength than pre-surgery and 46% more power pre-surgery than nine-weeks post.

EMG and FMS scores combined may be a better indicator of full recovery post knee arthroscopy than either alone. Nine-week FMS score indicated that full recovery from surgery had occurred, nine-week EMG data revealed otherwise. The EMG scores may be better predictors of risk of injury if subject pursues rigorous dynamic activity too soon.

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