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Hayri Baran Yosmaoglu, Gül Baltaci, Defne Kaya and Hamza Ozer

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.

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Gulcan Harput, H. Erkan Kilinc, Hamza Ozer, Gul Baltaci and Carl G. Mattacola

Context:

There is lack of information related to quadriceps and hamstring strength recovery during the early period of rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) using hamstring-tendon graft (HTG).

Objective:

To investigate quadriceps and hamstring isometric strength at 4-, 8-, and 12-wk time points after ACLR and to document the strength changes of these muscles over time.

Design:

Longitudinal study.

Participants:

24 patients (age 28.1 ± 8.1 y) who underwent unilateral single-bundle anatomic ACLR with 4-strand semitendinosus and gracilis tendon graft.

Main Outcome Measures:

The isometric strength of quadriceps and hamstring muscles was measured on an isokinetic dynamometer at a 60° knee-flexion angle 4, 8, and 12 wk after surgery.

Results:

Quadriceps and hamstring strength significantly increased over time for both the involved limb (quadriceps F 2,46 = 58.3, P < .001; hamstring F 2,46 = 35.7, P < .001) and uninvolved limb (quadriceps F 2,46 = 17.9, P < .001; hamstring F 2,46 = 56.9, P = .001). Quadriceps and hamstring indexes significantly changed from 4 wk (QI 57.9, HI 54.4) to 8 wk (QI 78.8, HI 69.9) and from 8 wk to 12 wk (QI 82, HI 75.7) (P < .001); however, there was no difference between indexes at the 12-wk time point (P = .17).

Conclusions:

The results of this study serve as a reference for clinicians while directing a rehabilitation protocol for HTG ACLR patients to better appreciate expected strength changes of the muscles in the early phase of recovery.