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Am J Sports Med. 1994 Sep-Oct;22(5):651-8.

An electromyographic analysis of the knee during functional activities. II. The anterior cruciate ligament-deficient and -reconstructed profiles.

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  • 1Biomechanics Laboratory, Centinela Hospital Medical Center, Inglewood, California 90301.


This study compared the electromyographic activity of normal (N = 22), rehabilitated anterior cruciate ligament-deficient (N = 8), and -reconstructed knees (N = 10) while subjects performed activities. Each subject had evaluation of 8 muscles during 7 functional activities. Sixty-seven percent of the differences in the quadriceps muscle reflected increased activity in the vastus lateralis muscle of the rehabilitated group; 75% of the differences in the hamstrings muscles noted increased biceps femoris muscle activity in the rehabilitated group; 56% of the differences in the lower leg musculature showed increased tibialis anterior muscle activity in the rehabilitated group. Eighty-six percent of the statistically different intervals involved rehabilitated subjects demonstrating increased activity over reconstructed or normal subjects or both. The presence of a quadriceps-hamstrings muscles coordinated response was identified consistently in all 3 groups in each activity. This study supports surgical reconstruction for the anterior cruciate ligament-deficient knee. It also demonstrates the importance of the vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, and tibialis anterior musculature in the rehabilitation of the anterior cruciate ligament-deficient patient. The presence of a quadriceps-hamstrings muscles coordinated response indicates that mechanoreceptors mediating this reflex arc exist in structures other than the cruciate ligament.

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