Evaluation of the walking pattern in two types of patients with anterior cruciate ligament deficiency: copers and non-copers

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2003 May;89(3-4):301-8. doi: 10.1007/s00421-002-0787-x. Epub 2003 Mar 14.


The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether different walking patterns in healthy subjects and in coper and non-coper subjects with deficient anterior cruciate ligaments could be quantified. An inverse dynamics approach was used to calculate joint kinematics and kinetics for flexion and extension. EMG signals of the hamstrings and quadriceps muscles were recorded. The results showed that the peak knee flexion angle was greater in the copers than in the controls. There was a positive correlation between the peak knee extensor moment and peak knee flexion angle. Furthermore, at a given peak knee flexion angle, the peak knee extensor moment was significantly larger in the controls than in the non-copers. The hip extensor moment in the copers was significantly larger than that of the non-copers and the controls. In conclusion, the three groups walked according to different patterns. It is suggested that the copers stabilized their knee joint by co-contraction of the hamstrings and quadriceps muscles, while the non-copers lacked this ability. Instead, the non-copers reduced the knee extensor moment in order to decrease anterior displacement of the tibia. The walking pattern differences observed between the copers and non-copers may explain their different post-injury activity levels.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / physiopathology
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Electromyography
  • Gait*
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / classification*
  • Joint Instability / etiology
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology*
  • Joint Instability / psychology
  • Knee Injuries / classification
  • Knee Injuries / complications
  • Knee Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Knee Injuries / psychology
  • Knee Joint
  • Leg / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Recovery of Function / physiology
  • Severity of Illness Index