THE CURRENT ISSUE

By: Parkway Physiotherapy & Performance Centre  09-12-2011

   

Tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are common in athletes. Over 100 000 ACL reconstructions are performed in the USA annually. The incidence rate of ACL tears is higher in female athletes compared to their male counterparts competing in similar activities (1). 

Due to the detrimental effects of an ACL injury on athletes including loss of a sport season and long term disability, rehabilitation programs have been developed to guide the process. These protocols progress from the acute phase to return to sport. 

Toward the end of rehab, there is increasing pressure on the treating clinician to allow the athlete to return to sport. Residual biomechanical, strength and neuromuscular deficits may increase injury risk during this phase. Further, asymmetry in the lower extremity performance during athletic tasks has been shown in patients following ACL reconstruction. Athletes with lower extremity imbalances are more prone to injury (2). Therefore, it is imperative that objective functional performance measures are performed to detect lower extremity insufficiencies. 

Researchers found 3 tests were sensitive enough to measure side to side differences after ACL reconstruction. These tests could be used to guide the athlete’s stage of recovery and late stage exercise program (2). 

Three hopping tests (see illustration) on a single leg could identify functional limitations. 

The researchers suggest that the surgically repaired leg should perform at least 90% as well as the uninjured leg before the athlete is allowed to return to sport (2). 

A cohort study with 5 year follow-up demonstrated that ACL reconstruction patients with asymmetrical limb biomechanics had a 44% chance of a second injury (2). Therefore, single limb tasks that identify unilateral deficits are needed as a part of a comprehensive and functional examination to ensure safe return to sport after ACL reconstruction.

 

A – Single hop for distance

B – Crossover hop for distance

C – Triple hop for distance

Reference: 

  1. Brukner P & Khan K. Clinical Sports Medicine 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill;2006.
  2. Myer GD et al. Utilization of Modified NFL Combine Testing to Identify Functional Deficits in Athletes Following ACL Reconstruction. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2011;41(6):377-387.


Contact Parkway Physiotherapy & Performance Centre

Email - none provided

Print this page

Other products and services from Parkway Physiotherapy & Performance Centre

09-12-2011

Introduction to Sports

The staff at Parkway Physiotherapy works with a variety of people with different athletic and sport backgrounds to improve their overall performance and skill, and assist them with successful recovery when sports-related injuries do happen. This portion of our site is designed to help the athlete that is trying to get better at and improve in their respective sport. Current Sports (we will be adding new sports on a regular basis).


09-12-2011

Physiotherapy in Victoria, Westshore, Langford, for Injury Care

At Parkway Physiotherapy we look forward to helping you achieve optimal health and recover from injuries. Welcome to the Parkway Physiotherapy resource for injury care.


09-12-2011

Parkway Physiotherapy:Services available to Victoria, Langford, Westshore

It blends hands on techniques such as stretching and mobilization of tissue with exercise and education to create a complete treatment approach Manipulative Physiotherapy is an advanced group of hands on techniques that are applied at a high rate of speed and are often associated with the “pop” or adjustment of joints.


09-12-2011

Injuries and Conditions

We look forward to working with you to reach your goals in health and well being. Our Injuries & Conditions resource is for informational purposes only. Welcome to the Parkway Physiotherapy Injury and Conditions Resource.