Differences in EMG-moment relationships between ACL-injured and uninjured adults during a weight-bearing multidirectional force control task

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Teresa E Flaxman, Tine Alkjær, Kenneth B Smale, Erik B Simonsen, Michael R Krogsgaard, Daniel L Benoit

Anterior cruciate ligament injury (ACLi) reduces mechanical knee joint stability. Differences in muscle activation patterns are commonly identified between ACLi individuals and uninjured controls (CON); however, how and which of these differences are adaptations to protect the knee or adversely increase risk of joint instability remain unclear. Since the neuromuscular system integrates activity of all muscles crossing the knee to create a moment-of-force that opposes an external load, this study sought to quantify differences in individual muscle electromyography (EMG)-moment relationships between ACLi and CON. Participants isometrically modulated ground reaction forces during a standing force matching protocol to elicit combinations of sagittal, frontal and transverse plane moments. Partial least squares regressions determined which internal joint moment(s) predicted activation of 10 leg muscles for each group. Compared to CON, ACLi demonstrated greater contribution of rectus femoris to knee extension, semitendinosus and gastrocnemii to knee flexion, and lateral gastrocnemii to knee external rotation moments. ACLi also showed lower contributions of biceps femoris to knee flexion, medial gastrocnemius to internal rotation, and varied hip muscle contributions to frontal plane hip moments. Between group differences in EMG-moment relationships during static conditions suggest neuromuscular contributions to sagittal plane stability increases after ACL injury, while knee stability during knee abduction and external rotation is reduced. Clinical Significance: Clinical assessments of ACLi should account for deficits in frontal and rotational plane stability by including tasks that elicit such loads. Improving hamstring muscle balance, hip abductor and gastrocnemius function may benefit ACLi rehabilitation interventions and should be studied further. © 2018 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Volume37
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)113-123
ISSN0736-0266
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • ACL injury, compensation strategies, internal joint moments, knee stability, muscle activity

ID: 203811524