Dynamic Knee Joint Mechanics after Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

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Abstract

Purpose

There is scarcity of information on the long-term adaptations in lower limb biomechanics during game-specific movements after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Particularly, variables such as knee abduction moments and transverse plane knee motion have not been studied during a game-specific landing and cutting task after ACL reconstruction. The purpose of this study was to compare the hip and knee mechanics between the ACL-reconstructed (ACLr) group and a healthy control group.

Methods

Thirty-eight reconstructed athletes (18 ACLr, 18 control) participated in the study. Three-dimensional hip, knee, and ankle angles were calculated during a maximal drop jump land from a 0.30-m box and unanticipated cutting task at 45°.

Results

During the landing phase, ACLr participants had increased hip flexion (P < 0.003) and transverse plane knee range of motion (P = 0.027). During the cutting phase, the ACLr participant’s previously injured limb had increased internal knee abduction moment compared with that of the control group (P = 0.032). No significant differences were reported between the previously injured and contralateral uninjured limb.

Conclusions

Previously injured participants demonstrated higher knee abduction moment and transverse plane range of motion when compared with those of control participants during a game-specific landing and cutting task.

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