Background: Surgery for Abdominal Rectus Diastasis (ARD) is a controversial topic and some argue that it is solely an aesthetic problem. Many symptoms in these patients are indefinite, and no objective criteria have been established, indicating which patients are likely to benefit from surgery. This study investigated the correlation between preoperative assessment and intraoperative measurement of ARD width, and objective measurements of muscle strength. Methods: 57 patients undergoing surgery for ARD underwent preoperative assessment of ARD width by clinical measurement and CT scan, and thereafter intraoperative measurement. Abdominal muscle strength was investigated using the Biodex System 4 including flexion, extension and isometric measurements. Correlations were calculated by the Spearman test. Results: Intraoperative ARD width between the umbilicus and the symphysis correlated strongly with Biodex measurements during flexion (p = 0.007, R = -0.35) and isometric work load (p = 0.01, R = -0.34). The following measurements showed no correlation: between muscle strength and BMI; muscle strength and waistline; or between muscle strength and ARD width above the umbilicus, assessed preoperatively at the outpatient clinic, by CT scan, or measured intraoperatively. Conclusion: There is a strong correlation between intraoperatively measured ARD width below the umbilicus and flexion and isometric abdominal muscle strength measured with the Biodex System 4.

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