Context: After ACL reconstruction (ACLR), deficits are often assessed using a variety of functional tests, which can be time consuming. It is unknown whether these tests provide redundant or unique information. Objective: To explore relationships between components of a battery of functional tests, the Lower Extremity Assessment Protocol (LEAP) was created to aid in developing the most informative, concise battery of tests for evaluating ACLR patients. Design: Descriptive, cross-sectional. Setting: Laboratory. Participants: 76 ACLR patients (6.86±3.07 months postoperative) and 54 healthy participants. Intervention: Isokinetic knee flexion and extension at 90 and 180 degrees/second, maximal voluntary isometric contraction for knee extension and flexion, single leg balance, 4 hopping tasks (single, triple, crossover, and 6-meter timed hop), and a bilateral drop vertical jump that was scored with the Landing Error Scoring System (LESS). Main Outcome Measures: Peak torque, average torque, average power, total work, fatigue indices, center of pressure area and velocity, hop distance and time, and LESS score. A series of factor analyses were conducted to assess grouping of functional tests on the LEAP for each limb in the ACLR and healthy groups and limb symmetry indices (LSI) for both groups. Correlations were run between measures that loaded on retained factors. Results: Isokinetic and isometric strength tests for knee flexion and extension, hopping, balance, and fatigue index were identified as unique factors for all limbs. The LESS score loaded with various factors across the different limbs. The healthy group LSI analysis produced more factors than the ACLR LSI analysis. Individual measures within each factor had moderate to strong correlations. Isokinetic and isometric strength, hopping, balance, and fatigue index provided unique information. Conclusions: Within each category of measures, not all tests may need to be included for a comprehensive functional assessment of ACLR patients due to the high amount of shared variance between them.
Melissa DiFabio, Lindsay V. Slater, Grant Norte, John Goetschius, Joseph M. Hart and Jay Hertel
Haley Bookbinder, Lindsay V. Slater, Austin Simpson, Jay Hertel and Joseph M. Hart
Context: Many clinicians measure lower-extremity symmetry after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR); however, testing is completed in a rested state rather than postexercise. Testing postexercise may better model conditions under which injury occurs. Objective: To compare changes in single-leg performance in healthy and individuals with history of ACLR before and after exercise. Design: Repeated-measures case-control. Setting: Laboratory. Patients: Fifty-two subjects (25 control and 27 ACLR). Intervention: Thirty minutes of exercise. Main Outcome Measures: Limb symmetry and involved limb performance (nondominant for healthy) for single-leg hop, ground contact time, and jump height during the 4-jump test. Cohen d effect sizes were calculated for all differences identified using a repeated-measures analysis of variance. Results: Healthy controls hopped farther than ACLR before (d = 0.65; confidence interval [CI], 0.09 to 1.20) and after exercise (d = 0.60; CI, 0.04 to 1.15). Those with ACLR had longer ground contact time on the reconstructed limb compared with the uninvolved limb after exercise (d = 0.53; CI, −0.02 to 1.09), and the reconstructed limb had greater ground contact time compared with the healthy control limb after exercise (d = 0.38; CI, −0.21 to 0.73). ACLR were less symmetrical than healthy before (d = 0.38; CI, 0.17 to 0.93) and after exercise (d = 0.84; CI, 0.28 to 1.41), and the reconstructed limb demonstrated decreased jump height compared with the healthy control limbs before (d = 0.75; CI, 0.19 to 1.31) and after exercise (d = 0.79; CI, 0.23 to 1.36). Conclusions: ACLR became more symmetric, which may be from adaptations of the reconstructed limb after exercise. Changes in performance and symmetry may provide additional information regarding adaptations to exercise after reconstruction.
Ian J. Dempsey, Grant E. Norte, Matthew Hall, John Goetschius, Lindsay V. Slater, Jourdan M. Cancienne, Brian C. Werner, David R. Diduch and Joseph M. Hart
Context: Postoperative rehabilitation is critical to optimize outcomes after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). However, the relationship between physical therapy (PT) and clinical outcomes is unclear. Objective: To describe PT characteristics following ACLR and to assess the relationships between PT characteristics, surgical procedure, and clinical outcomes. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Laboratory. Patients (or Other Participants): A total of 60 patients (31 females/29 males, age = 22.4 [9.2] y, height = 171.7 [9.9] cm, and mass = 70.2 [14.7] kg) with a history of primary unilateral ACLR (53.6% patellar tendon and 46.4% hamstring) participated. Intervention(s): Patients completed a performance assessment and rated subjective knee function prior to physician clearance (mean = 6.3 [1.3] mo postoperatively) and were contacted within 6 months of clearance to complete a PT questionnaire. Main Outcome Measures: PT questionnaire item response, knee extension maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) torque, peak isokinetic knee extension torque, single leg hop distance, and International Knee Documentation Committee were measured. Correlations assessed relationships between PT quantity and clinical outcomes. Independent t tests compared PT quantity and clinical outcomes based on return-to-sport status, readiness to return to sport, and surgical procedure. Results: Patients completed regular PT (2 d/wk, 25 wk, 58 visits) and were most likely to conclude when discharged by the therapist (68.3%). More than half (56.7%) returned to sport, yet most (73.3%) felt unready at discharge. Isokinetic torque was correlated with days of PT/week (r = .29, P = .03). Isokinetic torque and hop symmetry were reduced in patients who returned to sport (P < .05). Patients who felt ready to return completed fewer weeks of PT (P < .05). Patients with a patellar tendon graft completed more days of PT/week and total visits, but demonstrated lower MVIC torque, MVIC symmetry, and isokinetic symmetry (P < .05). Conclusions: Many patients felt unready to return to sport at PT discharge. PT frequency was associated with isokinetic torque, yet this relationship was small. Outcomes were reduced in patients who returned to sport, suggesting premature resumption of preinjury activity.