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Anterior cruciate ligament injury and ankle dorsiflexion



The aim was to study whether the degree of ankle dorsiflexion differs between subjects with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and uninjured controls. Another aim was to study ankle dorsiflexion between the injured and the uninjured leg and in addition between women and men with an ACL injury.


Sixty subjects (ACL injury, n = 30 and controls, n = 30) were enroled consecutively at two physical therapy settings. Ankle dorsiflexion was measured with a goniometer in a standardized way in a weight-bearing lunge position.


Repeated-measures ANOVA revealed a significant difference (p < 0.001) in ankle dorsiflexion between subjects with an ACL injury (mean 41.1° SD 5.7) and those without (mean 46.6° SD 5.3). No difference in ankle dorsiflexion was found between the injured leg and the uninjured or between women and men with ACL injury.


The present findings suggest lower degree of ankle dorsiflexion in subjects with an ACL injury than in uninjured controls. A functional test measuring ankle dorsiflexion with a goniometer may be one way of identifying individuals at increased risk of ACL injury.

Level of evidence

Comparative study, Level II.

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We would like to express our gratitude to all subjects participating in the study and to the physiotherapists at Täby Rehab Center and Capio Artro Clinic for assisting in the recruitment of participants.

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Correspondence to Charlotta Wahlstedt.

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Wahlstedt, C., Rasmussen-Barr, E. Anterior cruciate ligament injury and ankle dorsiflexion. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 23, 3202–3207 (2015).

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