Measurements of muscle strength and performance in children with normal and diseased muscle.
A study has been made of two simple means of measuring muscle power in children with normal and diseased muscle. In one the length of time that the leg and the head could be held at 45 degrees above the horizontal was measured with the child supine. In the second, measurements were made of the isometric strength of six muscle groups with the newly developed Hammersmith Myometer. In the timed performance tests only 5 (8%) of a group of 61 children known to have muscle disease achieved the minimum expected values for their ages. Myometer readings of the isometric power of the children with muscle disease also have values which were below those of a comparable group of normal children. The reproducibility of muscle strength measurements in young children has been shown to be good, whereas the timed performance tests, though able to differentiate normal children from children with muscle disease, did not show sufficient reporducibility for this test to be recommended for sequential measurements.