Assessment of objective dynamic knee joint control in anterior cruciate ligament deficient and reconstructed individuals

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BACKGROUND: There is a lack of objective dynamic knee joint control measures that can be related to the status of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The purpose of this study was to introduce two novel measures and apply a third to determine how dynamic knee joint control changes in relation to ACL status during dynamic movements.

METHODS: Twenty patients (13 male) were tested pre- (ACLd) and 10-months post- (ACLr) ACL reconstructive surgery and matched to an uninjured participant (CON). Kinetic and kinematic data were synchronously recorded with a force platform and motion capture system. Three objective control measures including dynamic angular stiffness, knee joint center excursion (KJCE), and knee joint center boundary (KJCB) were assessed for each participant when completing the side cut and hop tasks.

RESULTS: During the side cut, stiffness was found to be significantly lower in ACLd (0.06 ± 0.01 Nm/kg/°) and ACLr (0.07 ± 0.02 Nm/kg/°) compared to CON (0.08 ± 0.02 Nm/kg/°), while there were no differences in stiffness during the hop. No significant differences were observed in the KJCE during the side cut, while KJCE was significantly greater (p = 0.006) during the hop in CON compared to the ACLd. There were no differences in KJCB.

CONCLUSIONS: These high-functioning ACL injured in both ACLd and ACLr phases, aside from reduced stiffness, were able to complete both tasks with similar dynamic control as the CON. Although improvements in self-perceived control between ACLd and ACLr have been observed, this lack of improvement in objective control demonstrates a gap between a patient's self-efficacy and the level of control.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Knee
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)578-585
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 216353325