Biomedical Engineering Research - ACL Deficient Knee

The work from this project has been accepted for publication in the ASME National Congress Proceedings. Click here to see the PDF file of this publication.

Subject Preparation

All subjects had 39 motion analysis markers placed on them in order to track their motion (i.e. running) in three dimensional space. They also have surface electrodes to track their EMG signals.

Procedure

Each subject performed running cutting trials that placed his knee in a stressed position. This maximized the differences seen among the test subjects. Test subjects fit into one of three categories: Normals (no previous knee injury), Post-Ops (have had a surgical ACL reconstruction), and Copers (have torn an ACL, but have never had it repaired).

Results

On average, copers show increased hamstring activation (i.e they use their hamstrings more) in order to stabilize the knee joint during movement. The finding in our laboratory agrees with other studies that have been done in a similar manner.

Implications

A greater understanding of how the ligaments and muscles in the leg provide stability to the knee joint may someday translate to improved rehabilitation protocols, more effective injury prevention, or possible alternatives to surgical reconstruction.

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