Inter-segmental postural coordination measures differentiate athletes with ACL reconstruction from uninjured athletes

Adam W Kiefer, Kevin R Ford, Mark V Paterno, Laura C Schmitt, Gregory D Myer, Michael A Riley, Kevin Shockley, Timothy E Hewett
Gait & Posture 2013, 37 (2): 149-53
Athletes who sustain non-contact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries and undergo surgical reconstruction exhibit deficits in sensorimotor control, which often impairs lower-limb movement coordination. The purpose of this experiment was to measure the influence of sensorimotor deficits on the ankle-hip coordination of a postural coordination task in athletes following ACL reconstruction. Twenty-two female athletes who were cleared to return to sports participation following ACL reconstruction and 22 uninjured female athletes performed a unilateral dynamic postural rhythmic coordination task at two movement frequencies (0.2 and 0.7 Hz). Athletes with ACL-reconstruction exhibited greater ankle-hip relative phase variability and reduced regularity of coupling than uninjured athletes, especially during the 0.2 Hz condition. The results of this study show altered lower extremity coordination patterns in athletes following ACL reconstruction and return to sports participation. The results also indicate that dynamical coordination measures may provide objective measures of sensorimotor deficits following ACL reconstruction and can potentially guide rehabilitation interventions following reconstruction.

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