Interlimb asymmetry in persons with and without an anterior cruciate ligament deficiency during stationary cycling

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004 Sep;85(9):1475-8. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2003.10.017.


Objective: To investigate the power output generation from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)-injured and noninjured limbs during stationary cycling.

Design: Repeated measures.

Setting: Research laboratory.

Participants: Ten people with unilateral ACL deficiency and 10 uninjured controls matched for age and sex.

Interventions: Participants performed 6 randomized bouts of stationary cycling at intensities of 2 cadences (60, 90 rpm) and 3 power outputs (75, 125, 175 W) for approximately 2 minutes for each bout during a single laboratory visit.

Main outcome measures: The effective component of force (perpendicular to the crank) was measured and used to calculate the power output contribution from each limb to the total power output.

Results: Subjects with ACL injury generated significantly more power from uninjured limbs compared with that from injured limbs and the limbs of control subjects.

Conclusions: Results suggest that people with ACL injury have a reduced total output from the injured limb and rely on the uninjured limb for most of the power output. This may compromise the ability to restore lower-limb muscle strength after injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Bicycling* / physiology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Exercise Test* / methods
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / complications
  • Knee Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Knee Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Leg / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Muscle Weakness / diagnosis
  • Muscle Weakness / etiology
  • Muscle Weakness / physiopathology*
  • Muscular Atrophy / etiology
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Torque