Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is thought to disrupt joint afferent sensation and result in proprioceptive deficits. This investigation examined proprioception following ACL reconstruction. Using a proprioceptive testing device designed for this study, kinesthetic awareness was assessed by measuring the threshold to detect passive motion in 12 active patients, who were 11 to 26 months post-ACL reconstruction, using arthroscopic patellar tendon autograft (n=6) or allograft (n=6) techniques. Results revealed significantly decreased kinesthetic awareness in the ACL reconstructed knee versus the uninvolved knee at the near-terminal range of motion and enhanced kinesthetic awareness in the ACL reconstructed knee with the use of a neoprene orthotic. Kinesthesia was enhanced in the near-terminal range of motion for both the ACL reconstructed knee and the contralateral uninvolved knee. No significant between-group differences were observed with autograft and allograft techniques.
Lephart and Borsa are with the Sports Medicine Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Kocher is in the Duke Univ. School of Medicine. Fu and Harner are in the Dept. of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Univ. of Pittsburgh. Request reprints from S.M. Lephart, Sports Medicine Program, 111 Trees Hall, U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261.