Knee joint position sense ability in elite athletes who have returned to international level play following ACL reconstruction: A cross-sectional study.

Nicola Relph, Lee Herrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)
77 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Following an ACL injury, reconstruction (ACL-R) and rehabilitation athletes may return to play with a proprioceptive deficit. However, literature is lacking to support this hypothesis in elite athletic groups who have returned to international levels of performance. It is possible the potentially heightened proprioceptive ability evidenced in athletes may negate a deficit following injury. The purpose of this study was to consider the effects ACL injury, reconstruction and rehabilitation on knee joint position sense (JPS) on a group of elite athletes who had returned to international performance. Methods: Using a cross-sectional design ten elite athletes with ACL-R and ten controls were evaluated. JPS was tested into knee extension and flexion using absolute error scores. Average data with 95% confidence intervals between the reconstructed, contralateral and uninjured control knees were analysed using t-tests and effect sizes. Results: The reconstructed knee of the injured group demonstrated a significantly greater angle of error score when compared to both the contralateral and uninjured control knees into knee flexion (p=0.0001, r=0.98) and knee extension (p=0.0001, r=0.91). There were no significant differences between the contralateral uninjured knee of the injured group and the uninjured control group. Conclusions: Elite athletes who have had an ACL injury, reconstruction, rehabilitation and returned to international play demonstrate lower JPS ability compared to control groups. It is unclear if this deficiency affects long-term performance or secondary injury and re-injury problems. In the future physical therapists should monitor athletes longitudinally when they return to play.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1029-1034
JournalThe Knee
Volume23
Issue number6
Early online date4 Oct 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Oct 2016

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