Dynamic stability in the anterior cruciate ligament deficient knee

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2001;9(2):62-71. doi: 10.1007/s001670000166.


Some individuals can stabilize their knees following anterior cruciate ligament rupture even during activities involving cutting and pivoting (copers), others have instability with daily activities (non-copers). Movement and muscle activation patterns of 11 copers, ten non-copers and ten uninjured subjects were studied during walking and jogging. Results indicate that distinct gait adaptations appeared primarily in the non-copers. Copers used joint ranges of motion, moments and muscle activation patterns similar to uninjured subjects. Non-copers reduced their knee motion, and external knee flexion moments that correlated well with quadriceps strength. Non-copers also achieved peak hamstring activity later in the weight acceptance phase and used a strategy involving more generalized co-contraction. Both copers and non-copers had high levels of quadriceps femoris muscle activity. The reduced knee moment in the involved limbs of the non-copers did not represent "quadriceps avoidance" but rather represented a strategy of general co-contraction with a greater relative contribution from the hamstring muscles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology*
  • Knee Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Rupture
  • Thigh / physiology