GROUND REACTION FORCES OF PATIENTS WITH AN OPERATIVELY TREATED RUPTURE OF THE ACL

  • Martin Steuer
Keywords: gait analysis, force platform, ground reaction forces, ACL

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Instrumented gait analysis is rarely used in the field of rehabilitation. In order to apply the gait analysis not only in research but also in interdisciplinary cooperation between technicians and therapists in the field of rehabilitation, it is necessary to find a limited number of parameters being expressive enough to support the development of new therapy plans. A well known problem in gait analysis is the identification of pathological gait patterns compared with normal gait patterns. Even healthy test persons exhibit intrapersonal differences. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify distinct differences in gait patterns between normal and ACL reconstructed patients. METHODS: Subjects for this study included 91 subjects with no lower limb pathologies and 31 patients who had an ACL reconstruction (ACLR). After familiarization, the subjects were asked to walk barefooted over two AMTI force platforms, which were integrated into a footbridge. Each test candidate must repeat the test for six times. Only five of these attempts were used for the evaluation. RESULTS: In comparison to the controls the gait patterns of the ACLR were pathological at 4 to 6 weeks postoperative. The main gait disturbance of the ACLR subjects was a significantly reduced braking force and in the lack of dynamic ability (difference between the vertical forces Fz1 and Fz2), i. e. reduced flexion of the hip-, knee- and ankle-joint during standing phase of the injured body part. Also great differences can be found in the moment to the longitudinal axis of the lower leg between the healthy test person collective and the patients. CONCLUSION: The rehabilitation or process of ACLR can be documented with the help of the gait analysis. The knowledge of possible incorrect physical stress is especially for athletes with a common occurrence of a ruptured ACL important.