Abnormal landing strategies after ACL reconstruction
Scandinavian Journal of medicine & science in sports
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The objective was to analyze muscle activity and movement patterns during landing of a single leg hop for distance after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Nine (six males, three females) ACL-reconstructed patients 6 months after surgery and 11 (eight males, three females) healthy control subjects performed the hop task. Electromyographic signals from lower limb muscles were analyzed to determine onset time before landing. Biomechanical data were collected using an Optotrak Motion Analysis System and force plate. Matlab was used to calculate kinetics and joint kinematics. Side-to-side differences in ACL-reconstructed patients and healthy subjects as well as differences between the patients and control group were analyzed. In ACL-reconstructed limbs, significantly earlier onset times were found for all muscles, except vastus medialis, compared with the uninvolved side. The involved limbs had significantly reduced knee flexion during the take-off and increased plantarflexion at initial contact. The knee extension moment was significantly lower in the involved limb. In the control group, significantly earlier onset times were found for the semitendinosus, vastus lateralis and medial gastrocnemius of the non-dominant side compared with the dominant side. Muscle onset times are earlier and movement patterns are altered in the involved limb 6 months after ACL reconstruction.