Motion alterations after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: comparison of the injured and uninjured lower limbs during a single-legged jump

Benoît Pairot de Fontenay, Sebastien Argaud, Yoann Blache, Karine Monteil
Journal of Athletic Training 2014, 49 (3): 311-6

CONTEXT: Asymmetries subsist after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACL-R), and it is unclear how lower limb motion is altered in the context of a dynamic movement.

OBJECTIVE: To highlight the alterations observed in the injured limb (IL) during the performance of a dynamic movement after ACL-R.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING: Research laboratory.

PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: A total of 11 men (age = 23.3 ± 3.8 years, mass = 81.2 ± 17.0 kg) who underwent ACL-R took part in this study 7.3 ± 1.1 months (range = 6-9 months) after surgery.

INTERVENTION(S): Kinematic and kinetic analyses of a single-legged squat jump were performed. The uninjured leg (UL) was used as the control variable.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Kinematic and kinetic variables.

RESULTS: Jump height was 24% less for the IL than the UL (F1,9 = 23.3, P = .001), whereas the push-off phase duration was similar for both lower limbs (P = .96). Knee-joint extension (F₁,₉ = 11.4, P = .009), and ankle plantar flexion (F₁,₉ = 22.6, P = .001) were less at takeoff for the IL than the UL. The hip angle at takeoff was not different between lower limbs (P = .09). We found that total moment was 14% less (F₁,₉ = 11.1, P = .01) and total power was 35% less (F₁,₉ = 24.2, P = .001) for the IL than the UL. Maximal hip (P = .09) and knee (P = .21) power was not different between legs. The IL had 34% less maximal ankle power (F₁,₉ = 11.3, P = .009) and 31% less angular velocity of ankle plantar flexion (F₁,₉ = 17.8, P = .004) than the UL.

CONCLUSIONS: At 7.3 months after ACL-R, motion alterations were present in the IL, leading to a decrease in dynamic movement performance. Enhancing the tools for assessing articular and muscular variables during a multijoint movement would help to individualize rehabilitation protocols after ACL-R.

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