Quadriceps and Hamstring Strength Symmetry After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Prospective Study.

Research paper by Gulcan G Harput, Volga B VB Tunay, Matthew P MP Ithurburn

Indexed on: 29 Jul '20Published on: 28 Jul '20Published in: Journal of sport rehabilitation


To evaluate change in involved and uninvolved quadriceps and hamstring strength and limb symmetry indices (LSI) in regular intervals over the first 6 months following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). Prospective cohort study. Thirty-eight male participants (mean age: 24.2 [6.4] y, mean body mass index: 23.6 [4.2] kg/m2), who underwent ACLR were included. Isometric strength testing of the quadriceps and hamstring muscles was performed at 1, 2, 3, and 6 months after ACLR. Quadriceps and hamstring peak torques for each limb and LSI were calculated. Repeated-measures analysis of covariance and paired t tests were used to evaluate changes in strength over time and between limbs, respectively. Quadriceps and hamstring peak torques of the involved limb consistently increased between each time point from 1 to 6 months (P < .001 and P = .01, respectively), whereas the uninvolved limb values did not change after ACLR (P > .05). In addition, uninvolved limb peak torque values were higher than involved limb values at each time point after ACLR for both the quadriceps and hamstrings (all P < .01). At 6 months after ACLR, 28.9% of participants demonstrated LSI greater than 90% for quadriceps strength, 36.8% demonstrated LSI greater than 90% for hamstring strength, and 15.8% of participants demonstrated greater than 90% LSI for both quadriceps and hamstring strength. Participants demonstrated a consistent increase in quadriceps and hamstring strength of the involved limb, with no notable change in uninvolved limb strength over the 6 months after ACLR. However, at 6 months after ACLR, only approximately 16% of participants demonstrated both quadriceps and hamstring strength LSI greater than 90%, the typically recommended cutoff value for return to sport.