OWU Connection Programs
Project Title: Comparison of Single Leg Performance Tests in Athletes with and Without ACL Reconstruction
Mentor: Andrew Busch
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury rates among collegiate athletes continue to rise across 15 different men’s and women’s sports. Re-injury in ACL-reconstructed athletes occurs in 6-13% of reconstructed knees, and 2-6% sustain a ACL injury to the opposite leg. Strength and power have been found to be useful measures of muscle function. Clearance for sport participation following reconstruction and rehabilitation used to be based on a length of time rather than objective measurements of functional movements. Patients typically return to sport between 6 to 9 months postoperatively, which is now being questioned as to whether or not it is an adequate amount of time to ensure safe functional movement patterns in patients. The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) and Y-Balance Test are emerging screening tests used to objectively assess functional movement and dynamic balance. These tests are often used to identify patients who may be at an increased risk of injury, and help with return to sport decision-making.
Therefore, the overall objective of this project was to assess bilateral lower extremity differences that an athlete may possess from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, despite being cleared by a medical professional following a rehabilitation program. The project assessed each athlete comparing the leg that underwent ACL reconstructive surgery and the non-torn leg within five different arenas- strength, power, speed, balance and force. The main hypothesis was that there would be a significant deficit in strength, power, speed, balance and force in the lower extremity that has underwent reconstructive surgery. The purpose of this research was to clearly identify an athlete’s areas of weakness in their reconstructed knee to help prevent re-injury in the future