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Stergiou -

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After anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and reconstruction, biomechanical and neuromuscular control deficits persist and 25% of those who have experienced an ACL injury will experience a second ACL rupture in the first year after returning to sports. There remains a need for improved rehabilitation and the ability to detect an individual's risk of secondary ACL rupture. Nonlinear analysis metrics, such as the largest Lyapunov exponent (LyE) can provide new biomechanical insight in this population by identifying how movement patterns evolve over time. The purpose of this study was to determine how ACL injury, ACL reconstruction (ACLR), and participation in high-performance athletics affect control strategies, evaluated through nonlinear analysis, produced during a novel task that simulates forces generated during cutting movements. Uninjured recreational athletes, those with ACL injury who have not undergone reconstruction (ACLD [ACL deficient]), those who have undergone ACL reconstruction, and high-performance athletes completed a task that simulates cutting forces. The LyE calculated from forces generated during this novel task was greater (ie, force control was diminished) in the involved limb of ACLD and ACLR groups when compared with healthy uninjured controls and high-performance athletes. These data suggest that those who have experienced an ACL injury and subsequent reconstructive surgery exhibit poor force control when compared with both uninjured controls and high-performance athletes. Clinical significance: significantly larger LyE values after ACL injury and reconstruction when compared with healthy athletes suggest a continuing deficit in force control not addressed by current rehabilitation protocols and evaluation metrics that could contribute to secondary ACL rupture.


This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: ACL injury and reconstruction affect control of ground forces produced during novel task that simulates cutting movements in the Journal of Orthopedic Research, volume 38, issue 8, page 1746-1752 on January 23, 2020, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

Journal Title

Journal of Orthopaedic Research





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Biomechanics Commons