Thigh Muscle Weakness in ACL-deficient Knees Persists without Structured Rehabilitation.

Tsepis, Elias PhD; Vagenas, George PhD; Ristanis, Stavros MD; Georgoulis, Anastasios D MD, PhD

This study evaluated whether quadriceps and hamstrings weakness depended on chronicity in amateur athletes with anterior cruciate ligament deficiencies. It was hypothesized that the weakness would not recover to the level of healthy control subjects without structured rehabilitation. Secondarily, it asked whether quadriceps and hamstrings side-to-side percent asymmetry in strength was consistent at different stages of chronicity. The results showed that weakness was substantial in both muscle groups and at all times compared with the control subjects, side-to-side deficits revealed a linear trend of lessening with time and the quadriceps had greater side-to-side asymmetry.  Acquiring symmetric strength earlier than 1 year after injury only occurred in the hamstrings. It can be inferred that participation in organized rehabilitation would minimize the detrimental effects of anterior cruciate ligament rupture on thigh muscle strength.

Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research.    450:211-218, September 2006.

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