Forward lunge before and after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: Faster movement but unchanged knee joint biomechanics

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The forward lunge (FL) may be a promising movement to assess functional outcome after ACL reconstruction. Thus, we aimed to investigate the FL movement pattern before and after ACL reconstruction with a comparison to healthy controls to determine if differences were present. Twenty-eight ACL injured participants and 28 matched healthy controls were included. They performed FL movements while sagittal plane biomechanics of the knee and electromyography (EMG) of nine leg muscles was assessed. The ACL injured group was tested before and 10 months after surgery. The perceived knee function and activity level was assessed by questionnaires. The ACL injured group performed the FL significantly slower than the controls before surgery (mean difference: 0.41 s [95%CI: 0.04-0.79 s; p<0.05]) while they performed the FL as fast as the controls after surgery (~28% movement time reduction post-surgery). Perceived knee function and activity level improved significantly post-surgery. The knee joint flexion angle, extensor moment, power, angular velocity in the ACL injured group did not differ from pre to post-surgery. For the ACL injured group, the peak knee extensor moment observed both pre and post-surgery was significantly lower when compared to the controls. The EMG results showed minimal differences. In conclusion, at 10 months post-surgery, the FL was performed significantly faster and the movement time was comparable to that of the controls. While the perceived knee function and activity level improved post-surgery, the knee joint biomechanics were unchanged. This may reflect that knee joint function was not fully restored.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0228071
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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