The relationship between subjective knee scores, isokinetic testing, and functional testing in the ACL-reconstructed knee

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1994 Aug;20(2):60-73. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1994.20.2.60.


It is important to examine the functional relationships between commonly performed clinical tests and to resolve inconsistencies in previous investigative results. The purpose of this study was to determine if a correlation exists between three commonly performed clinical tests: isokinetic isolated knee concentric muscular testing, the single-leg hop test, and the subjective knee score in anterior cruciate ligament reconstructed knees. To determine if a relationship exists would be beneficial to clinicians in determining patient progression, treatment modification, and return-to-sport objective parameters. Several investigators have analyzed two of these parameters, but no one has investigated three parameters to date. Additionally, this study explored the concept of limb acceleration and deceleration during high-speed isokinetics and its relationship to function. Fifty patients were randomly selected (29 males) with a mean age of 23.7 years (range 15-52). The subjects completed a subjective knee score questionnaire that rated symptoms (pain, swelling, giving way) and specific sport function and completed an overall knee score assessment. The patients were then evaluated performing three one-legged functional tests: 1) hop for distance, 2) timed hop, and 3) cross-over triple hop. Isokinetic testing was performed on a Biodex dynamometer at 180, 300, and 450 degrees/sec for knee extension/flexion. The patients' mean value of the self-assessed knee rating was 86 points. Sixty-four percent of the patients exhibited normal limb symmetry (within 85%) on all three single-leg hop tests. Sixteen percent exhibited quadriceps strength at least 90% of the contralateral limb isokinetically. A positive correlation was noted between isokinetic knee extension peak torque (180, 300 degrees/sec) and subjective knee scores, and the three hop tests (p < 0.001). A statistical trend was noted between knee extension acceleration and deceleration range at 180 and 300 degrees/sec for the timed hop test and triple cross-over hop (r = 0.48, r = 0.49, r = 0.51, r = 0.49). No positive correlations were found for isokinetic test results for the knee flexors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / physiopathology
  • Knee Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome