The relationship between knee strength and functional stability before and after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

J Orthop Res. 2003 Mar;21(2):231-7. doi: 10.1016/S0736-0266(02)00160-2.


Functional stability of the knee is dependent on an intact ligamentous system and the timely and efficient contraction of supporting musculature. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between muscle strength and functional stability in 31 patients pre- and post-operatively, following a unilateral anterior cruciate ligament rupture. All subjects underwent reconstructive surgery using semitendonosis and gracilis tendons. Isokinetic strength assessment of quadriceps and hamstring muscles was performed at a rate of movement of 60 degrees /s and 120 degrees /s. Functional stability was determined by performance during five functional stability tests that included the shuttle run, side step, carioca, single and triple hop tests. Pearson's correlation coefficient statistics were applied to pre-operative and post-operative data respectively. These analyses demonstrated a significant positive correlation between quadriceps strength indices at both testing speeds and the two hop tests pre-operatively (p's<0.007) and between quadriceps strength indices at both speeds and all five functional tests post-operatively (p's<0.01). Assessed using Steiger's formula, there was a significant increase in the correlation between quadriceps strength indices and three functional tests post-operatively compared to pre-operatively (p<0.05). No significant correlation between hamstring strength indices and functional scores existed pre- or post-operatively. This study has shown a significant correlation exists between quadriceps strength indices and functional stability both before and after surgery, this relationship does not reach significance between hamstring strength indices and functional stability.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology*
  • Knee / physiopathology
  • Knee / surgery*
  • Knee Injuries / physiopathology
  • Knee Injuries / surgery*
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Tendons / transplantation