Purpose: Poor knee function after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) may increase the risk of future knee symptoms and knee osteoarthritis via abnormal knee joint loading patterns, particularly during high-impact activity. This study aimed to assess the relationship between poor self-reported or clinically measured knee function and knee moments/vertical ground reaction force (vGRF) in individuals following ACLR. Methods: 61 participants (mean 16.5 ± 3 months following ACLR, 23 women) completed a patient-reported knee function questionnaire and three hop tests (% of uninvolved limb). Participants were divided into satisfactory and poor knee function groups (poor < 85% patient-reported knee function and/or < 85% hop test symmetry). The knee biomechanics of both groups were assessed with three-dimensional motion analysis during the stance phase of overland running at self-selected speeds, and the association between knee function and knee moments was assessed using analysis of covariance with running speed as a covariate. Results: Participants with poor knee function (n = 30) ran with significantly smaller peak knee flexion moments (moderate effect size 0.7, p = 0.03) and significantly smaller peak vGRFs (large effect size 1.0, p = 0.002) compared to those with satisfactory knee function (n = 31). No significant differences were observed for knee adduction and knee external rotation moments or knee kinematics. Conclusion: Individuals following ACLR with poor self-reported knee function and/or hop test performance demonstrate knee moments during running that may be associated with lower knee joint contact forces. These findings provide greater understanding of the relationship between knee biomechanics during running and clinical assessments of knee function. Level of evidence: III. Cross-sectional study.
- ACL reconstruction
- Hop tests
- Patient-reported knee function