Effects of injury and Reconstruction of the Posterior Cruciate Ligament on Proprioception and Neuromuscular Control

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Proprioceptive deficits have been demonstrated following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) disruption, but little research exists evaluating proprioception in the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)-deficient and/or -reconstructed knee. We have studied proprioception in PCL-deficient and PCL-reconstructed knees. The following summarizes our protocol and results of proprioceptive testing of kinesthesia and joint position sense in participants with isolated PCL injuries and those who underwent PCL reconstruction. We studied 18 participants with isolated raptures of the PCL and 10 participants who underwent PCL reconstruction. Proprioception was evaluated by two tests: the threshold to detect passive motion (TTDPM) and the ability to passively reproduce passive positioning (RPP). These assess kinesthesia and joint position sense, respectively. We have shown that isolated PCL deficiency in the human knee does result in reduced kinesthesia and enhanced joint position sense. Thus, the proprioceptive mechanoreceptors in the PCL do appear to have some function. We further found that PCL reconstruction significantly improved kinesthesia at 45° of knee flexion, while 110° was not significantly different between the involved and uninvolved knee in both studies.

M.R. Safran is with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Kaiser Permanente, Orange County, Anaheim, CA 92804, and the University of California, Irvine. C.D. Harner and F.H. Fu are with the Center for Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261. J.L. Giraldo is a former Sports Medicine Research Fellow with the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. S.M. Lephart is with the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. P.A. Borsa is with the Sports Medicine Research Laboratory, Division of Kinesiology, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2214. This material first appeared in Proprioception and Neuromuscular Control in Sports Injuries, S.M. Lephart and F.H. Fu (Eds.), and is reprinted with permission from the publisher, Human Kinetics.