Unilateral Stance Strategies of Athletes With ACL Deficiency

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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  • 1 University of Delaware
  • 2 University of New England
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Aberrant movement strategies are characteristic of ACL-deficient athletes with recurrent knee instability (non-copers), and may instigate premature or accelerate joint degradation. Biomechanical evaluation of kinematic changes over time may elucidate noncopers’ responses to neuromuscular intervention and ACL reconstruction (ACLR). Forty noncopers were randomized into a perturbation group or a strength training only group. We evaluated the effects of perturbation training, and then gender on knee angle and tibial position during a unilateral standing task before and after ACLR. No statistically significant interactions were found. Before surgery, the strength training only group demonstrated knee angle asymmetry, but 6 months after ACLR, both groups presented with similar knee flexion between limbs. Aberrant and asymmetrical tibial position was found only in females following injury and ACLR. Neither treatment group showed distinct unilateral standing strategies following intervention; however, males and female noncopers appear to respond uniquely to physical therapy and surgery.

Stephanie Di Stasi (Corresponding Author) was with the Physical Therapy Department and Biomechanics and Movement Sciences Program, University of Delaware, Newark, DE. Di Stasi is currently with the Sports Health and Performance Institute, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. Erin H. Hartigan is with the Physical Therapy Department and Biomechanics and Movement Sciences Program, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, and with the Physical Therapy Department, University of New England, Portland, ME. Lynn Snyder-Mackler is with the Physical Therapy Department and Biomechanics and Movement Sciences Program, University of Delaware, Newark, DE.