Tracking Ability, Motor Coordination, and Functional Determinants After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context:

The development pattern of motor coordination, strength, and functional ability during recovery from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

Objective:

To investigate the relationship between motor coordination, functional ability, and strength after ACL reconstruction.

Design:

Prospective clinical follow-up study.

Setting:

Sports-injury research laboratory.

Participants:

20 subjects who underwent ACL reconstruction.

Interventions:

Real-time eccentric and concentric motor coordination were tested by a multijoint lower limb tracking-trajectory test, quadriceps and hamstring isokinetic strength were assessed by isokinetic dynamometer, and functional performance was tested with a single-leg-hop test 6 and 12 mo after ACL reconstruction.

Main Outcome Measures:

Percentage deficits of the involved lower extremity for target-tracking ability, peak torque, total work parameters of isokinetic strength, and single-leg-hop distance.

Results:

Deficits in hamstring–quadriceps isokinetic muscle strength and single-leg-hop distance significantly decreased from the 6th to the 12th mo after surgery (P < .05). There were no significant differences in muscle concentric and eccentric motor-coordination deficits of the involved side (P > .05).

Conclusions:

Although muscle strength and functional performance clearly increased from the 6th to the 12th mo after surgery, coordination characteristics of involved side remained low. This pattern demonstrated that motor-coordination progression was not affected by strength development. Patients continued to have significant motor-coordination deficits even 12 mo postsurgery. Therefore, the authors recommend that neuromuscular-coordination exercises be included in long-term rehabilitation programs to improve motor coordination.

Yosmaoglu, Baltaci, and Kaya are with the Dept of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey. Ozer is with the Dept of Orthopedics and Traumatology, University of Gazi School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.