Does the one-leg rise test reflect quadriceps strength in individuals following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction?

Phys Ther Sport. 2023 Sep:63:104-111. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2023.07.008. Epub 2023 Aug 2.


Objective: To explore if one-leg rise test performance is associated with quadriceps strength following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR).

Design: Cross-sectional.

Participants: 100 individuals (50 females, 50 males) aged 18-40 years, 9-36 months post-ACLR with ongoing knee symptoms (KOOS4 <80/100).

Main outcome measures: Number of one-leg rise repetitions (using an adjustable-height plinth) and isometric quadriceps strength using isokinetic dynamometry (60° flexion, normalised to body mass). Multivariable fractional polynomial regression models adjusted for sex explored relationships between one-leg rise performance (repetitions) and quadriceps strength (Nm/kg) for each limb.

Results: A non-linear, increasing association between one-leg rise performance and quadriceps strength was observed, with the rate of increase attenuating at higher values of one-leg rise performance. Similar relationships were observed in the ACLR (β = 0.15, 95%CI 0.10 to 0.20; adjusted r2 = 0.51) and contralateral limb (β = 0.14, 95%CI 0.08 to 0.19; r2 = 0.42).

Conclusion: The one-leg rise test can be an indicator of quadriceps strength in individuals after ACLR, enabling clinicians to easily monitor quadriceps strength recovery without specialised equipment. With the relationship between one-leg rise performance and quadriceps strength attenuating with a larger number of one-leg rises achieved, other factors (e.g., motivation, endurance) likely contribute to one-leg rise performance at higher values.

Keywords: Knee; Muscle; Physiotherapy; Rehabilitation.

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries* / surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength
  • Quadriceps Muscle