- Despite passing return to play criteria, ACL reconstruction (ACLR) athletes still display deficits around knee kinematics and performance outputs.
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
Despite passing return to play criteria, it is believed that athletes still display biomechanical asymmetries following an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). A previous study by the same authors, using the same population, demonstrated that such athletes can achieve near symmetrical horizontal jumps and hops. However, the biomechanical status of vertical jump performance and strategy at the point of return to sport, is not known.
The study aimed to describe a detailed assessment of biomechanical performance at time of discharge for ACLR patients using a 14-camera motion capture system, force plates and EMG. It also aimed to investigate whether simpler vertical jump performance metrics could be used as surrogate measures for knee function after ACLR to determine readiness to return to sport (RTS).
Vertical jump height alone demonstrated differences between involved and uninvolved limbs, versus horizontal jump measures where symmetry can be achieved in spite of deficits.
48 male participants were split into two groups – 26 unilateral ACLR athletes and 22 matched controls. ACLR athletes, including bone-patella-bone and hamstring grafts, were required to have passed a RTS criteria that involved being deemed fit by a surgeon