Background: Female patients are more likely to suffer a second anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury after ACL reconstruction (ACLR) and return to sport (RTS) compared with healthy female controls. Few studies have examined the energy absorption contribution (EAC) that could lead to this subsequent injury. Hypothesis: The ACLR group would demonstrate an altered EAC between joints (hip, knee, and ankle) but no difference in quadriceps, hip abduction, or hip external rotation (ER) strength at the time of RTS. Study Design: Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: A total of 34 female participants (ACLR: n = 17; control: n = 17) were enrolled in the study and matched for age and activity level. Jump landing performance for the initial 50 milliseconds of landing of a lateral-vertical jump was assessed using a 10-camera 3-dimensional motion capture system and 2 force plates. Isokinetic quadriceps strength was measured using a Biodex machine, and hip abduction and ER isometric strength were measured using a handheld dynamometer. All values were normalized to the participant’s height and weight. A 1-way multivariate analysis of variance was used to assess between-group differences in the EAC at the hip, knee, and ankle. Two 1-way analyses of variance were used to independently examine quadriceps, hip abduction, and hip ER strength between the groups. Results: Significant differences in the EAC were found between the groups for the involved hip (P =.002), uninvolved hip (P =.005), and involved ankle (P =.023). There were no between-group differences in the EAC for the involved or uninvolved knee or the uninvolved ankle. Patients who underwent ACLR demonstrated significantly decreased quadriceps strength on the involved limb (P =.02) and decreased hip ER strength on both the involved (P =.005) and uninvolved limbs (P =.002). No significant strength differences were found between the groups for the uninvolved quadriceps or for involved or uninvolved hip abduction. Conclusion: At RTS, patients who underwent ACLR utilized a greater hip EAC bilaterally and a decreased involved ankle EAC during a lateral-vertical jump. Furthermore, quadriceps strength on the involved limb and hip ER strength of bilateral lower extremities remained decreased. This could place greater stress on the ACL graft and ultimately lead to an increased injury risk.
- energy absorption
- female athlete
- return to sport
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine