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Clin Neurophysiol. 2011 May;122(5):997-1004. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2010.09.002. Epub 2010 Sep 29.

Neuromuscular responses in individuals with anterior cruciate ligament repair.

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  • 1Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, Carver College of Medicine, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242-1190, United States.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Knee surgery may alter the neuromuscular response to unexpected perturbations during functional, dynamic tasks. Long latency reflexes (LLR) follow a transcortical pathway and appear to be modifiable by task demands, potentially giving them a role in neuromuscular performance. We examined LLRs of the quadriceps and hamstrings in response to unexpected perturbations in individuals with a repaired anterior cruciate ligament (ACLR) during a weight-bearing task. We also investigated the anticipatory and volitional muscle activity that preceded and followed the LLR to quantify possible reflex adaptations associated with surgical repair.

METHODS:

Twelve females with ACLR and 12 healthy female controls performed a single leg squat maneuver, tracking a sinusoidal target. Random perturbations at the start of the flexion phase yielded tracking errors ("overshoot errors") and triggered compensatory reflex activity.

RESULTS:

ACLR subjects demonstrated greater overshoot error and knee velocity during unexpected perturbations, increased LLR responses, and reduced absolute anticipatory, short-latency reflex, and voluntary quadriceps activity.

CONCLUSIONS:

ACLR subjects showed impaired response to perturbation and a distinct EMG profile during a dynamic single leg weight-bearing task. Future research will determine the cause of neural adaptations in those with ACLR.

SIGNIFICANCE:

Neuromuscular adaptations may be a viable target for post-ACL injury rehabilitation interventions.

Copyright © 2010 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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