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Altered loading in the injured knee after ACL rupture.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of orthopaedic research : official publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society
Publication Date
Volume
31
Issue
3
Pages
458–464
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/jor.22249
PMID: 23097309
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Articular loading is an important factor in the joint degenerative process for individuals with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture. Evaluation of loading for a population that exhibits neuromuscular compensation for injury requires an approach which can incorporate individual muscle activation strategies in its estimation of muscle forces. The purpose of this study was to evaluate knee joint contact forces for patients with ACL deficiency using an EMG-driven modeling approach to estimate muscle forces. Thirty athletes with acute, unilateral ACL rupture underwent gait analysis after resolving range of motion, effusion, pain, and obvious gait impairments. Electromyography was recorded bilaterally from 14 lower extremity muscles and input to a musculoskeletal model for estimation of muscle forces and joint contact forces. Gait mechanics were consistent with previous reports for individuals with ACL-deficiency. Our major finding was that joint loading was altered in the injured limb after acute ACL injury; patients walked with decreased contact force on their injured knee compared to their uninjured knee. Both medial and lateral compartment forces were reduced without a significant change in the distribution of tibiofemoral load between compartments. This is the first study to estimate medial and lateral compartment contact forces in patients with acute ACL rupture using an approach which is sensitive to individual muscle activation patterns. Further work is needed to determine whether this early decreased loading of the injured limb is involved in the development of osteoarthritis in these patients.

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