ACL reconstructed individuals do not demonstrate deficits in postural control as measured by single-leg balance

Gait Posture. 2018 Oct:66:296-299. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2018.06.120. Epub 2018 Jun 20.


Background: Following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR), patients undergo a battery of performance assessments to determine progression of return to sport activity. Rates of reinjury following ACLR are high, indicating that current assessments may not accurately identify deficits at the time point of return to sport progression.

Research question: To assess single-leg postural control in ACLR patients around the time point of return to sport progression and their relationships to subjective function.

Study design: Descriptive Laboratory Study.

Methods: 198 individuals (108 ACLR, 90 healthy) participated. All ACLR participants were at the time point of return to play progression. Postural stability was quantified by center of pressure (COP) average velocity measured through a straight-knee single-leg balance assessment for 10-seconds with the participant's eyes closed. Subjective knee function was measured from the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) Subjective Knee Form and the Knee Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) subscales.

Results: No significant differences existed between COP average velocity between limbs (uninvolved, involved) or groups (ACLR, Healthy). As a secondary aim, no significant relationships existed between measures of subjective knee function and postural stability.

Significance: Individuals following ACLR demonstrate similar patterns of postural stability as healthy individuals in a straight knee single leg balance task. Single-leg balance in a straight knee position may not be sensitive enough to detect impairments and does not predict subjective function in ACLR patients at the time of return to sport progression.

Keywords: Postural stability; Return to sport; Subjective function.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries / physiopathology
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction / adverse effects*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Return to Sport / statistics & numerical data*