Aggressive quadriceps loading can induce noncontact anterior cruciate ligament injury.
The force responsible for noncontact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries remains controversial. The patella tendon to tibial shaft angle causes an anterior tibial shear force with quadriceps activation.An aggressive quadriceps contraction can injure the ACL.The authors characterized noncontact ACL injury and kinematics with aggressive quadriceps loading. Thirteen fresh-frozen knees were potted in a jig held in 20 degrees of flexion while a 4500 N quadriceps contraction was simulated. Knee kinematics were recorded. A KT-1000 arthrometer and a simulated active quadriceps test assessed anterior displacement. Statistics were performed using paired t tests and 1-way analysis of variance.Kinematics revealed the following mean values: anterior displacement, 19.5 mm; valgus, 2.3 degrees; and internal rotation, 5.5 degrees. Mean KT-1000 and active quadriceps test differences were 4.0 mm and 2.7 mm, respectively (statistically significant P =.002 and P =.002). Six knees showed gross ACL injury at the femoral insertion. Based on ACL injury, KT-1000 differences were statistically significant (P =.029).Aggressive quadriceps loading, with the knee in slight flexion, produces significant anterior tibial translation and ACL injury. This suggests that the quadriceps is the intrinsic force in noncontact ACL injuries, producing a model for further investigation.
DeMorat, G; Weinhold, P; Blackburn, T; Chudik, S; Garrett, W
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