, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 56-63
Date: 20 Aug 2009

Differences in kinematics of single leg squatting between anterior cruciate ligament-injured patients and healthy controls

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Abstract

Seventy to eighty percent of all anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are due to non-contact injury mechanisms. It has been reported that the majority of injuries due to single leg landing come from valgus positioning of the lower leg. Preventing valgus positioning during single leg landing is expected to help reduce the number of ACL injuries. We found that many ACL-deficient patients cannot perform stable single leg squatting. Therefore, we performed 3D motion analysis of the single-legged half squat for ACL-injured patients to evaluate its significance as a risk factor for ACL injuries. We evaluated the relative angles between the body, thigh, and lower leg using an electromagnetic device during single leg half squatting performed by 63 ACL-injured patients (32 males, 31 females) the day before ACL reconstruction and by 26 healthy control subjects with no knee problems. The uninjured leg of ACL-injured male subjects demonstrated significantly less external knee rotation than that of the dominant leg of the male control. The uninjured leg of ACL-injured female subjects demonstrated significantly more external hip rotation and knee flexion and less hip flexion than that of the dominant leg of the female control. Comparing injured and uninjured legs, the injured leg of male subjects demonstrated significantly less external knee and hip rotation, less knee flexion, and more knee varus than that of the uninjured leg of male subjects. The injured leg of female subjects demonstrated more knee varus than that of the uninjured leg of female subjects. Regarding gender differences, female subjects demonstrated significantly more external hip rotation and knee valgus than male subjects did in both the injured and uninjured legs (P < 0.05). The current kinematic study exhibited biomechanical characteristics of female ACL-injured subjects compared with that of control groups. Kinematic correction during single leg half squat would reduce ACL reinjury in female ACL-injured subjects.