Running biomechanics before injury and 1 year after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in division I collegiate athletes

Review written by Dr Carlo Wood info

Key Points

  1. Following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, surgical limb knee running biomechanics are not restored to the pre-injury state by 12 months, well beyond the typical return-to-sport timeframe.
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Running asymmetries have been observed up to 5 years following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). Comparison of post-operative data with pre-injury data allows for bilateral assessment over time.

The purpose of this study was to assess the longitudinal changes in running biomechanics throughout the first year post-ACLR compared to pre-injury. The authors hypothesized that knee joint kinematics, kinetics and ground reaction forces (GRF) of the surgical limb during running would be significantly altered shortly after ACLR and would not return to the pre-injury state by 12-months. They also hypothesized that the non-surgical limb kinematics, kinetics, and GRF would change significantly from the pre-injury assessment.

Running asymmetries have been observed up to 5 years following ACL reconstruction.
This study highlights the importance of biomechanical examinations throughout the rehab process to facilitate appropriate treatment and avoid detrimental long-term implications.


Baseline/pre-injury running gait analysis as well as post-ACLR (bone-patellar tendon-bone autograft) testing at 4, 6, 8, and 12 months were performed. Athletes played collegiate football, basketball, soccer, or track and field. Speed was increased and athletes were asked to identify

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