Decreased quadriceps activation measured hours prior to a noncontact anterior cruciate ligament tear

Terry L. Grindstaff, Kate R. Jackson, J. Craig Garrison, David R. Diduch, Christopher D. Ingersoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Fisheye STUDY DESIGN: Case report. Fisheye BACKGROUND: Decreased quadriceps activation has been shown to be present following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, but its presence prior to ACL injury is unknown. The purpose of this case report was to describe the level of quadriceps activation measured hours before a noncontact ACL injury in an individual who previously demonstrated known biomechanical risk factors for ACL injury. Fisheye CASE DESCRIPTION: A 23-year-old female (height, 176.9 cm; mass, 72.4 kg), sustained a left noncontact ACL injury while landing from a jump stop during a recreational basketball game. This case was unique because data regarding landing biomechanics and quadriceps force and activation were gathered in 2 separate, unrelated studies prior to injury. Fisheye OUTCOMES: Peak external knee abduction moment (-65.3 Nm) during a drop jump landing 8 months prior to injury indicated elevated risk for ACL injury. Involved quadriceps central activation ratios (CAR) were obtained 1 week (CAR, 0.81) and 4 hours (CAR, 0.77) prior to injury. Strength and CAR (0.76) measurements changed very little within 36 hours of injury and both strength, and activation (CAR, 0.90) improved following surgical reconstruction and formal rehabilitation. Fisheye DISCUSSION: An individual with known biomechanical risk factors for ACL injury may compound risk for noncontact ACL injury if decreased quadriceps activation is also present. Fisheye LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Prognosis, level 4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-507
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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