The Relationship between Grading and Instrumented Measurements of Anterior Knee Joint Laxity

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context:

The relationship between clinical judgments of anterior knee laxity and instrumented measurement of anterior tibial translation is unclear.

Objective:

To examine the relationship between certified athletic trainers’ grading of anterior knee laxity and instrumented measurements of anterior tibial translation.

Design:

Randomized, blinded, clinical assessment.

Setting:

Laboratory.

Participants:

Model patients receiving evaluation of anterior knee laxity.

Intervention:

Twelve model patients were evaluated using a MEDmetric® KT1000™ knee ligament Arthrometer® to establish instrumented measurements of anterior translation values at the tibio-femoral joint. Twenty-two certified athletic trainers were provided with operational definitions of potential laxity grades and examined the model patients to make judgments of anterior knee laxity.

Main Outcome Measures:

Correlation between clinical judgments and instrumented measurements of anterior tibial translation.

Results:

Clinical judgments and instrumented measurements were mutually independent.

Conclusions:

Anterior tibial translation grading by certified athletic trainers should be interpreted with caution during clinical decision-making.

Wendy Hurley is with the Kinesiology Department at SUNY Cortland. E-mail: hurleyw@em.cortland.edu. Craig Denegar is with the Department of Orthopedics and W.E. Buckley is with the Department of Kinesiology, both at Penn State University in State College, PA.