Skip Navigation LinksHome > March 2013 - Volume 45 - Issue 3 > Altered Landing Mechanics in ACL-Reconstructed Patients
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182752ae3
Applied Sciences

Altered Landing Mechanics in ACL-Reconstructed Patients

OBERLÄNDER, KAI DANIEL1,3; BRÜGGEMANN, GERT-PETER1; HÖHER, JÜRGEN2; KARAMANIDIS, KIROS1,4

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Abstract

Purpose: This longitudinal study aimed to examine whether patients with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction show a similar landing strategy during the single-leg hop test (SLHT) postsurgery analog to that previously identified when ACL deficient. It is hypothesized that ACL-reconstructed patients demonstrate greater trunk flexion to reduce knee joint moments at the cost of postural dynamic stability at their involved leg compared to their uninvolved leg.

Methods: Ten ACL-reconstructed patients performed a bilateral SLHT 6 and 12 months after surgery. Landing mechanics were determined by means of a soft tissue artifact optimized, rigid, full-body model, and the margin of stability was quantified using an inverted pendulum approach. Knee extensor muscular strength (KS) was assessed during isometric maximal voluntary knee extension contractions.

Results: ACL-reconstructed patients showed similar landing strategies as previously reported in their ACL-deficient state. By flexing their trunk, patients repositioned the ground reaction force vector more anteriorly in relation to the joints of the lower extremity (P < 0.05) and, in doing so, were able to transfer joint moments from the knee to the adjacent joints (P < 0.05). This upper body strategy reduced the margin of stability in the ACL-reconstructed leg during landing (P < 0.05). Twelve months after surgery, the ACL-reconstructed leg showed lower KS compared to the uninvolved leg (P < 0.05), and knee joint moment output during landing was significantly correlated to KS.

Conclusions: The results highlight the important role of KS on the interaction between trunk angle, joint kinetics, and postural dynamic stability during landing and show that ACL-reconstructed patients use an analogous feedforward strategy (e.g., more flexed trunk) to that used in their ACL-deficient state, aiming to compensate for KS deficits and thereby sacrificing postural dynamic stability and increasing the risk of loss of balance during landing maneuvers.

©2013The American College of Sports Medicine

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