Tracking ability, motor coordination, and functional determinants after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

J Sport Rehabil. 2011 May;20(2):207-18. doi: 10.1123/jsr.20.2.207.


Context: The development pattern of motor coordination, strength, and functional ability during recovery from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

Objective: To investigate the relationship between motor coordination, functional ability, and strength after ACL reconstruction.

Design: Prospective clinical follow-up study.

Setting: Sports-injury research laboratory.

Participants: 20 subjects who underwent ACL reconstruction.

Interventions: Real-time eccentric and concentric motor coordination were tested by a multijoint lower limb tracking-trajectory test, quadriceps and hamstring isokinetic strength were assessed by isokinetic dynamometer, and functional performance was tested with a single-leg-hop test 6 and 12 mo after ACL reconstruction.

Main outcome measures: Percentage deficits of the involved lower extremity for target-tracking ability, peak torque, total work parameters of isokinetic strength, and single-leg-hop distance.

Results: Deficits in hamstring-quadriceps isokinetic muscle strength and single-leg-hop distance significantly decreased from the 6th to the 12th mo after surgery (P < .05). There were no significant differences in muscle concentric and eccentric motor-coordination deficits of the involved side (P > .05).

Conclusions: Although muscle strength and functional performance clearly increased from the 6th to the 12th mo after surgery, coordination characteristics of involved side remained low. This pattern demonstrated that motor-coordination progression was not affected by strength development. Patients continued to have significant motor-coordination deficits even 12 mo postsurgery. Therefore, the authors recommend that neuromuscular-coordination exercises be included in long-term rehabilitation programs to improve motor coordination.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / physiopathology*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Proprioception / physiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Torque
  • Treatment Outcome