Isometric dynamometry, dependent on knee angle, is a suitable alternative to isokinetic dynamometry when evaluating quadriceps strength symmetry in patients following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Michael Beere, Jay R. Ebert, Brendan Joss, Timothy Ackland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Knee extensor strength deficits increase re-injury risk following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). This study investigated whether isometric strength testing methods are a suitable alternative to isokinetic assessment for identifying knee extensor strength asymmetry. Methods: This study recruited 22 patients at 9–12 months after ACLR and 22 healthy controls. The single hop for distance (SHD) and knee extensor strength via isokinetic (60°/s and 120°/s) and isometric (positions of 90°, 60° and 30° of flexion, from full knee extension) methods were assessed. Absolute scores (normalized to body weight) and limb symmetry indices (LSIs) were calculated, with t-tests employed for statistical comparisons. Results: The SHD LSI was significantly higher (p < 0.01) than both isokinetic speeds and the 30° isometric position. No significant LSI differences (p > 0.01) existed within isokinetic or isometric test conditions. In ACLR patients, only the 60°/s isokinetic condition was significantly lower (p = 0.005) than the 60° isometric condition. When normalized to body weight, the operated limb in ACLR patients was significantly weaker than the non-operated limb during peak isokinetic strength testing at 60°/s (p = 0.001) and 120°/s (p = 0.010), as well as isometric testing at 30° (p = 0.009). Compared with controls, ACLR patients demonstrated significantly lower (p < 0.01) mean LSIs across most measures. Conclusions: Assessment of knee extensor strength via isometric methods appears suitable in the absence of isokinetic testing equipment, though consideration of test angle (30° and 90° knee angles better detect asymmetries similar to isokinetic testing) is important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-133
Number of pages10
JournalKnee
Volume34
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

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