Publications by authors named "Ryan Zarzycki"

21 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Association of the Psychological Response to the ACL-SPORTS Training Program and Self-reported Function at 2 Years After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction.

Am J Sports Med 2021 11 8;49(13):3495-3501. Epub 2021 Oct 8.

Biomechanics and Movement Science Program, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA.

Background: Psychological readiness to return to sport has emerged as an important factor associated with outcomes after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). Psychological factors are potentially modifiable during the course of rehabilitation, and improving them may lead to better outcomes.

Purpose: To determine whether athletes with a positive psychological response after participation in a neuromuscular training and second injury prevention program had better self-reported function and activity outcomes compared with athletes who did not have a meaningful change.

Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.

Methods: After ACLR and the completion of formal rehabilitation, 66 level I/II athletes completed the following self-reported measures at enrollment (pretraining): the Anterior Cruciate Ligament-Return to Sport after Injury (ACL-RSI) scale, the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) subjective knee form, and the 5 subscales of the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS). Participants completed these measures after 10 sessions of agility, plyometric, and progressive strength training and at 1 and 2 years after ACLR. Participants who displayed an increase in the ACL-RSI score from pretraining to posttraining that exceeded the minimal clinically important difference (≥10 points) were defined as having a positive psychological response (responders) to training, and those who did not were defined as nonresponders. A mixed-model analysis of variance was used to determine if group differences in IKDC and KOOS scores existed over the 4 time points (pretraining, posttraining, and the 1- and 2-year follow-ups).

Results: The responders reported better self-reported function compared with the nonresponders, regardless of time, on the IKDC form ( = .001), KOOS-Sport and Recreation ( = .014), KOOS-Pain ( = .007), and KOOS-Symptoms ( = .002) but not on the KOOS-Quality of Life ( = .078). Overall, 77% of responders and 67% of nonresponders returned to their previous level of sport by 1 year after ACLR ( = .358), and 82% of responders and 78% of nonresponders returned to their previous level of sport by 2 years after ACLR ( = .668).

Conclusion: Ultimately, 59% of the athletes in this study displayed a meaningful improvement in their psychological outlook over the course of the training program. Responders demonstrated persistently better self-reported function at posttraining and at 1 and 2 years after ACLR, but there were no between-group differences in return-to-sport rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/03635465211045388DOI Listing
November 2021

Biomechanical Changes During a 90º Cut in Collegiate Female Soccer Players With Participation in the 11.

Int J Sports Phys Ther 2021 Jun 2;16(3):671-680. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Biomechanics and Movement Science, University of Delaware; Physical Therapy, University of Delaware.

Background: Valgus collapse and high knee abduction moments have been identified as biomechanical risk factors for ACL injury. It is unknown if participation in the 11+, a previously established, dynamic warm-up that emphasizes biomechanical technique and reduces ACL injury rates, reduces components of valgus collapse during a 90º cut.

Hypothesis/purpose: To determine whether participation in the 11+ during a single soccer season reduced peak knee abduction moment and components of valgus collapse during a 90º cut in collegiate female soccer players.

Study Design: Prospective cohort study.

Methods: Forty-six participants completed preseason and postseason motion analysis of a 90º cut. During the season, 31 players completed the 11+ and 15 players completed their typical warm-up (control group). Peak knee abduction moment, components of valgus collapse (hip adduction, internal rotation, and knee abduction angles), and a novel measure of knee valgus collapse were analyzed with repeated-measures ANOVAs to determine differences between preseason and postseason. Smallest detectable change (SDC) and minimal important difference (MID) values were applied to contextualize results.

Results: There was a significant main effect of time for non-dominant knee valgus collapse (p=0.03), but decreases in non-dominant knee valgus collapse only exceeded the SDC in the intervention team.

Conclusions: Clinically meaningful decreases in knee valgus collapse may indicate a beneficial biomechanical effect of the 11+. Participation in the 11+ may lower ACL injury risk by reducing valgus collapse during a 90º cut.

Level Of Evidence: 2b.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.26603/001c.22146DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8168994PMC
June 2021

The 4-Element Movement System Model to Guide Physical Therapist Education, Practice, and Movement-Related Research.

Phys Ther 2021 03;101(3)

Arcadia University, Department of Physical Therapy, Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA.

The movement system has been adopted as the key identity for the physical therapy profession, and recognition of physical therapists' primary expertise in managing movement dysfunction is an important achievement. However, existing movement system models seem inadequate for guiding education, practice, or research. Lack of a clear, broadly applicable model may hamper progress in physical therapists actually adopting this identity. We propose a model composed of 4 primary elements essential to all movement: motion, force, energy, and control. Although these elements overlap and interact, they can each be examined and tested with some degree of specificity. The proposed 4-element model incorporates specific guidance for visual, qualitative assessment of movement during functional tasks that can be used to develop hypotheses about movement dysfunction and serve as a precursor to more quantitative tests and measures. Human movement always occurs within an environmental context and is affected by personal factors, and these concepts are represented within the model. The proposed scheme is consistent with other widely used models within the profession, such as the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health and the Patient Management Model. We demonstrate with multiple examples how the model can be applied to a broad spectrum of patients across the lifespan with musculoskeletal, neurologic, and cardiopulmonary disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzab024DOI Listing
March 2021

BIOMECHANICAL MEASURES DURING TWO SPORT-SPECIFIC TASKS DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN SOCCER PLAYERS WHO GO ON TO ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT INJURY AND THOSE WHO DO NOT: A PROSPECTIVE COHORT ANALYSIS.

Int J Sports Phys Ther 2020 Dec;15(6):928-935

Biomechanics and Movement Science, University of Delaware, Newark, DE USA.

Background: Decelerating and cutting are two common movements during which non-contact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries occur in soccer players. Retrospective video analysis of ACL injuries has demonstrated that players are often in knee valgus at the time of injury.

Purpose: To determine whether prospectively measured components of valgus collapse during a deceleration and 90 ° cut can differentiate between collegiate women's soccer players who go on to non-contact ACL injury.

Design: Secondary analysis of prospectively collected data.

Methods: 51 NCAA women's soccer players completed motion analysis of a deceleration and 90 ° before the competitive season. Players were classified as Injured (noncontact ACL injury during the season) or Uninjured at the end of the season. Differences between groups for peak hip adduction, internal rotation, and knee abduction angles, and knee valgus collapse were analyzed with a MANOVA.

Results: Four non-contact ACL injuries were reported at the end of the season. There was a significant difference between groups for hip adduction angle during the 90 ° cut (p = 0.02) and deceleration (p = 0.03). Players who went on to ACL injury were in more hip adduction.

Conclusions: Hip adduction angle is larger in players who go on to ACL injury than those who do not during two sport-specific tasks. The components of knee injury prevention programs that address proximal control and strength are likely crucial for preventing ACL injuries.

Level Of Evidence: 2b.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.26603/ijspt20200928DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7727437PMC
December 2020

Examination of Corticospinal and Spinal Reflexive Excitability During the Course of Postoperative Rehabilitation After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction.

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2020 Sep 1;50(9):516-522. Epub 2020 Aug 1.

Objective: To investigate corticospinal and spinal reflexive excitability and quadriceps strength in healthy athletes and athletes after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) over the course of rehabilitation.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Methods: Eighteen athletes with ACLR and 18 healthy athletes, matched by sex, age, and activity, were tested at (1) 2 weeks after surgery, (2) the "quiet knee" time point, defined as full range of motion and minimal effusion, and (3) return to running, defined as achieving a quadriceps index of 80% or greater. We measured (1) corticospinal excitability, using resting motor threshold (RMT) and motor-evoked potential amplitude at a stimulator intensity of 120% of RMT (MEP) to the vastus medialis, (2) spinal reflexive excitability, calculating the ratio of the maximal Hoffmann reflex to the maximal M-wave to the vastus medialis, and (3) isometric quadriceps strength.

Results: The ACLR group had higher RMTs in the nonsurgical limb and higher MEP in the surgical limb at all time points. The healthy-athlete group did not have interlimb differences. The RMT was positively associated with quadriceps strength 2 weeks after surgery; MEP was associated with quadriceps strength at all time points.

Conclusion: Compared to healthy athletes, athletes after ACLR had altered corticospinal excitability that did not change from 2 weeks after surgery to the time of return to running. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2020.9329DOI Listing
September 2020

A Secondary Injury Prevention Program May Decrease Contralateral Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Female Athletes: 2-Year Injury Rates in the ACL-SPORTS Randomized Controlled Trial.

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2020 Sep 1;50(9):523-530. Epub 2020 Aug 1.

Objective: To determine whether the addition of perturbation training to a secondary injury prevention program reduces the rate of second anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury compared to the prevention program alone.

Design: Single-blinded randomized controlled trial.

Methods: Thirty-nine female athletes who intended to return to cutting/pivoting sports were enrolled 3 to 9 months after primary anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). Athletes were randomized to receive a training program of either progressive strengthening, agility, plyometrics, and prevention (SAPP) (n = 20) or SAPP plus perturbation training (n = 19); each had 10 sessions over 5 weeks. Occurrence and side of second ACL injury were recorded for 2 years after primary ACLR.

Results: There were 9 second ACL injuries in the 2 years after ACLR. There was no statistically significant difference in rate or side of second ACL injury between the SAPP-plus-perturbation training and SAPP groups.

Conclusion: Adding perturbation training to a secondary ACL injury prevention program did not affect the rate of second ACL injury in female athletes. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2020.9407DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7484246PMC
September 2020

Athletes after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction demonstrate asymmetric intracortical facilitation early after surgery.

J Orthop Res 2021 01 23;39(1):147-153. Epub 2020 Mar 23.

Biomechanics and Movement Science, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.

Quadriceps dysfunction persists after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR), yet the etiology remains elusive. Inhibitory and facilitatory intracortical networks (ie, intracortical excitability) may be involved in quadriceps dysfunction, yet the investigation of these networks early after ACLR is sparse. The purposes of this study were to examine (a) changes in intracortical excitability in athletes after ACLR compared to uninjured athletes during the course of postoperative rehabilitation, (b) the association between intracortical excitability and quadriceps strength in athletes after ACLR. Eighteen level I/II athletes after ACLR between the ages of 18 to 30 years and eighteen healthy sex, age, and activity matched athletes were tested at three-time points: (a) 2 weeks after surgery, (b) achievement of a "quiet knee" defined as full range of motion and minimal effusion, (c) return to running time point defined as achievement of a quadriceps index ≥80% and at least 12 weeks post-ACLR. Short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and intracortical facilitation (ICF), measured via transcranial magnetic stimulation and isometric quadriceps strength were examined bilaterally at each time point. There was a significant group × limb interaction (P = .017) for ICF. The ACLR group demonstrated asymmetric ICF (greater in the nonsurgical limb) compared to controls and a significant relationship between SICI and quadriceps strength of the surgical limb at the quiet knee time point (P = .018). ACLR individuals demonstrate differential effects on ICF between limbs. Also, SICI is associated with isometric quadriceps strength after ACLR, suggesting increased inhibition of the motor cortex may contribute to impaired quadriceps strength following ACLR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jor.24666DOI Listing
January 2021

Athletes With Bone-Patellar Tendon-Bone Autograft for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Were Slower to Meet Rehabilitation Milestones and Return-to-Sport Criteria Than Athletes With Hamstring Tendon Autograft or Soft Tissue Allograft : Secondary Analysis From the ACL-SPORTS Trial.

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2020 May 27;50(5):259-266. Epub 2019 Nov 27.

Objective: Graft choices for athletes undergoing anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) include bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB) and hamstring tendon (HT) autografts and soft tissue allografts. The objective was to assess time to meet clinical milestones by graft type in athletes who completed a return-to-sport (RTS) program after ACLR.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Methods: Seventy-nine athletes enrolled after ACLR (allograft, n = 18; BPTB, n = 24; HT, n = 37). Time from surgery to meet (1) enrollment criteria (12 or more weeks post surgery, 80% or greater isometric quadriceps strength index, minimal effusion, and full knee range of motion), and (2) RTS criteria (90% or greater quadriceps strength index, hop testing limb symmetry, and patient-reported outcomes) was calculated. Quadriceps strength, hop performance, and patient-reported outcomes were measured before and after training, and at 1 year post surgery. Descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, and 1-way analyses of variance ( = .05) were used to analyze differences among graft types.

Results: On average, the BPTB group (28.5 ± 7.6 weeks) took longer to meet enrollment milestones than the HT (22.5 ± 7.6 weeks, = .007) and allograft (18.9 ± 5.8 weeks, <.001) groups. The BPTB group (44.7 ± 15.8 weeks) took longer from surgery to meet RTS criteria than the HT (32.5 ± 9.9 weeks, = .001) and allograft (29.3 ± 9.0 weeks, <.001) groups. After training, the quadriceps strength index was lower in the BPTB group (86.1% ± 11.4%) than it was in the HT (96.1% ± 12.9%, = .004) and allograft (96.9% ± 5.9%, = .009) groups.

Conclusion: Athletes with a BPTB autograft may take longer than athletes with an HT autograft or a soft tissue allograft to complete postoperative rehabilitation, recover quadriceps strength, and meet RTS criteria. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2020.9111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7196003PMC
May 2020

Superior 2-Year Functional Outcomes Among Young Female Athletes After ACL Reconstruction in 10 Return-to-Sport Training Sessions: Comparison of ACL-SPORTS Randomized Controlled Trial With Delaware-Oslo and MOON Cohorts.

Orthop J Sports Med 2019 Aug 1;7(8):2325967119861311. Epub 2019 Aug 1.

Biomechanics and Movement Science Program, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA.

Background: Outcomes after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) are not uniformly good and are worse among young female athletes. Developing better rehabilitation and return-to-sport training programs and evaluating their outcomes are essential.

Purpose: (1) Test the effect of strength, agility, plyometric, and secondary prevention (SAPP) exercises with and without perturbation training (SAPP + PERT) on strength, hops, function, activity levels, and return-to-sport rates in young female athletes 1 and 2 years after ACLR and (2) compare 2-year functional outcomes and activity levels among young female athletes in the Anterior Cruciate Ligament Specialized Post-Operative Return-to-Sports (ACL-SPORTS) trial to homogeneous cohorts who completed criterion-based postoperative rehabilitation alone (Multicenter Orthopaedic Outcomes Network [MOON]) and in combination with extended preoperative rehabilitation (Delaware-Oslo).

Study Design: Randomized controlled trial, Level of evidence, 1; and cohort study, Level of evidence, 3.

Methods: A total of 40 level 1 and level 2 female athletes were enrolled after postoperative impairment resolution 3 to 9 months after primary ACLR. Participants were randomized to 10 SAPP or SAPP + PERT sessions and were tested 1 and 2 years after ACLR on quadriceps strength, hop tests, functional outcomes, and return-to-sport rates. Participants were then compared with homogeneous cohorts of young (<25 years) female athletes who completed criterion-based postoperative rehabilitation alone (MOON) and in combination with extended preoperative rehabilitation (Delaware-Oslo) on 2-year functional outcomes.

Results: No significant or meaningful differences were found between SAPP and SAPP + PERT, so groups were collapsed for comparison with the other cohorts. At 2-year follow-up, ACL-SPORTS had the highest scores ( < .01) on the Marx activity rating scale (ACL-SPORTS, 13.5 ± 3.3; Delaware-Oslo, 12.5 ± 2.7; MOON, 10.6 ± 5.1); International Knee Documentation Committee Subjective Knee Evaluation Form (96 ± 7, 92 ± 9, and 84 ± 14, respectively); and Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) subscales for Pain (98 ± 4, 94 ± 9, and 90 ± 10, respectively), Symptoms (94 ± 6, 90 ± 9, and 83 ± 14, respectively), Activities of Daily Living (100 ± 1, 99 ± 4, and 96 ± 7, respectively), Sports and Recreation (94 ± 8, 86 ± 15, and 82 ± 17, respectively), and Quality of Life (89 ± 14, 78 ± 18, and 76 ± 19, respectively). The Patient Acceptable Symptom State threshold on the KOOS-Sports and Recreation was achieved by 100% of the ACL-SPORTS cohort compared with 90% of Delaware-Oslo and 78% of MOON ( = .011).

Conclusion: Although perturbation training provided no added benefit, 10 sessions of return-to-sport training, compared with criterion-based postoperative rehabilitation alone, yielded statistically significant and clinically meaningfully higher 2-year functional outcomes among young, high-level female athletes after ACLR.

Registration: NCT01773317 (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2325967119861311DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6676263PMC
August 2019

Gait Mechanics in Women of the ACL-SPORTS Randomized Control Trial: Interlimb Symmetry Improves Over Time Regardless of Treatment Group.

J Orthop Res 2019 08 20;37(8):1743-1753. Epub 2019 May 20.

Biomechanics and Movement Science Program, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.

Women after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and ACL reconstruction (ACLR) are more likely than men to exhibit asymmetric movement patterns, which are associated with post-traumatic osteoarthritis. We developed the ACL specialized post-operative return-to-sports (ACL-SPORTS) randomized control trial to test the effect of strength, agility, plyometric, and secondary prevention (SAPP) training with and without perturbation training (SAPP + PERT) on gait mechanics in women after ACLR. We hypothesized that movement symmetry would improve over time across both groups but more so among the SAPP + PERT group. Thirty-nine female athletes 3-9 months after primary ACLR were randomized to SAPP or SAPP + PERT training. Biomechanical testing during overground walking occurred before (Pre-training) and after (Post-training) training and one and 2 years post-operatively. Hip and knee kinematic and kinetic variables were compared using repeated measures analysis of variance with Bonferroni corrections for post hoc comparisons (α = 0.05). There was a time by limb interaction effect (p = 0.028) for peak knee flexion angle (PKFA), the primary outcome which powered the study, characterized by smaller PKFA in the involved compared to uninvolved limbs across treatment groups at Pre-training, Post-training, and 1 year, but not 2 years. Similar findings occurred across sagittal plane knee excursions and kinetics and hip extension excursion at midstance. There were no meaningful interactions involving group. Neither SAPP nor SAPP + PERT training improved walking mechanics, which persisted 1 but not 2 years after ACLR. Statement of clinical significance: Asymmetrical movement patterns persisted long after participants achieved symmetrical strength and functional performance, suggesting more time is needed to recover fully after ACLR. © 2019 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 37:1743-1753, 2019.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jor.24314DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6824924PMC
August 2019

Changes in biomechanical knee injury risk factors across two collegiate soccer seasons using the 11+ prevention program.

Scand J Med Sci Sports 2018 Dec 6;28(12):2592-2603. Epub 2018 Sep 6.

Biomechanics and Movement Science Program, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.

The 11+ injury prevention program effectively reduces injuries in high school-aged female soccer player, but the mechanism of the 11+ is unknown, particularly whether it impacts biomechanical risk factors associated with knee injuries. The purpose of this study was to report the changes in hip and knee biomechanics with use of the 11+ over two soccer seasons. Two collegiate women's soccer teams performed the 11+ for two soccer seasons. A control team was followed for one season. Athletes performed motion analysis of a drop vertical jump during preseason and postseason. Both groups had meaningful increases in peak knee abduction angle over the first season, and there were no meaningful changes in peak knee abduction moment over either season. The control group had bilateral decreases in knee flexion angle. The program did not seem to systematically impact biomechanical risk factors associated with knee injuries, with increases in peak knee abduction angle and no bilateral changes in frontal or transverse hip motion. The 11+ may have mitigated clinically meaningful decreases in knee flexion; however, as ACL injuries do not occur purely in the sagittal plane, it is unclear the impact of these changes. The results of this study indicate that the 11+ may require some modifications to impact landing biomechanics and potentially risky movement patterns, particularly when used in collegiate women over multiple seasons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/sms.13278DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6238630PMC
December 2018

Psychological Readiness to Return to Sport Is Associated With Knee Kinematic Asymmetry During Gait Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction.

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2018 12 27;48(12):968-973. Epub 2018 Jul 27.

Background: Gait asymmetry is frequently observed following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). Psychological readiness to return to sport is associated with functional and activity-related outcomes after ACLR. However, the association between gait asymmetry and psychological readiness to return to sport is unknown.

Objectives: To determine the relationship between kinematic and kinetic measures of knee symmetry during gait and psychological readiness to return to sport following ACLR.

Methods: In this controlled laboratory, cross-sectional study, 79 athletes (39 women) underwent gait analysis following impairment resolution after ACLR (ie, full range of motion, minimal or no effusion, quadriceps strength index of 80% or greater). Interlimb differences during gait were calculated for sagittal plane knee angles at initial contact, peak knee flexion, and peak knee extension, as well as for peak knee flexion moment and peak knee adduction moment. Athletes completed the Anterior Cruciate Ligament-Return to Sport after Injury scale (ACL-RSI) to assess psychological readiness to return to sport. Pearson correlations were used to examine the association between ACL-RSI score and each gait symmetry variable.

Results: Significant negative correlations were observed between the ACL-RSI and 2 kinematic variables: knee flexion angle at initial contact (r = -0.281, P = .012) and peak knee flexion (r = -0.248, P = .027). In general, lower scores on the ACL-RSI were associated with greater interlimb asymmetry.

Conclusion: There was a weak association between psychological readiness to return to sport and knee kinematic asymmetry during gait. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2018;48(12):968-973. Epub 27 Jul 2018. doi:10.2519/jospt.2018.8084.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2018.8084DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6501559PMC
December 2018

TWO YEAR ACL REINJURY RATE OF 2.5%: OUTCOMES REPORT OF THE MEN IN A SECONDARY ACL INJURY PREVENTION PROGRAM (ACL-SPORTS).

Int J Sports Phys Ther 2018 Jun;13(3):422-431

Department of Physical Therapy, University of Delaware, Newark, USA.

Background: The Anterior Cruciate Ligament-Specialized Post-Operative Return to Sports (ACL-SPORTS) randomized control trial (RCT) examined an evidence-based secondary ACL injury prevention training program, involving progressive strengthening, agility training, and plyometrics. The RCT examined the benefit of the training program with and without a neuromuscular training technique called perturbation training.

Hypothesis/purpose: The purpose of this study was to report the return to sport and second ACL injury incidence outcomes of the men in the ACL-SPORTS trial.

Study Design: Secondary analysis of a RCT.

Methods: Forty cutting and pivoting sport male athletes participated in the ACL-SPORTS trial, return to sport testing, and in follow-up sessions at one and two years after ACL reconstruction. Variables of interest at one and two years were return to sport, return to preinjury level of sport, and second ACL injuries. Mean time to passing return to sport criteria, the number of athletes returning to sport and preinjury level of sport and the incidence proportion of second ACL injuries were calculated.

Results: Athletes passed return to sport criteria 232 ± 99 days after ACLR. One year after ACL reconstruction 95% had returned to sport, 78% at their preinjury level. Two years after ACL reconstruction all athletes had returned to sport, 95% at their preinjury level and only one athlete had a second ACL injury.

Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that men in the ACL-SPORTS trial had much higher return to sport rates and much lower second ACL injury rates than those reported in the literature.

Level Of Evidence: 1b.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6044585PMC
June 2018

Gait Mechanics After ACL Reconstruction Differ According to Medial Meniscal Treatment.

J Bone Joint Surg Am 2018 Jul;100(14):1209-1216

University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.

Background: Knee osteoarthritis risk is high after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) and arthroscopic meniscal surgery, and higher among individuals who undergo both. Although osteoarthritis development is multifactorial, altered walking mechanics may influence osteoarthritis progression. The purpose of this study was to compare gait mechanics after ACLR among participants who had undergone no medial meniscal surgery, partial medial meniscectomy, or medial meniscal repair.

Methods: This was a secondary analysis of data collected prospectively as part of a clinical trial. Sixty-one athletes (mean age of 21.4 ± 8.2 years) who had undergone primary ACLR participated in the study when they achieved impairment resolution (5.3 ± 1.7 months postoperatively), including minimal to no effusion, full knee range of motion, and ≥80% quadriceps-strength symmetry. Participants were classified by concomitant medial meniscal treatment: no involvement or nonsurgical management of a small, stable tear; partial meniscectomy; or meniscal repair. Participants underwent comprehensive walking analyses. Joint contact forces were estimated using a previously validated, electromyography-driven musculoskeletal model. Variables were analyzed using a mixed-model analysis of variance with group and limb comparisons (α = 0.05); group comparisons of interlimb differences in measurements (surgical minus contralateral limb) were performed to determine significant interactions.

Results: The participants in the partial meniscectomy group walked with a higher peak knee adduction moment (pKAM) in the surgical versus the contralateral limb as compared with those in the meniscal repair group and those with no medial meniscal surgery (group difference for partial versus repair: 0.10 N-m/kg-m, p = 0.020; and for partial versus none: 0.06 N-m/kg-m, p = 0.037). Participants in the repair group walked with a smaller percentage of medial to total tibiofemoral loading in the surgical limb compared with both of the other groups (group difference for repair versus partial: -12%, p = 0.001; and for repair versus none: -7%, p = 0.011). The participants in the repair group loaded the medial compartment of the surgical versus the contralateral limb 0.5 times body weight less than did the participants in the partial meniscectomy group.

Conclusions: Participants in the partial meniscectomy group walked with higher pKAM and shifted loading toward the medial compartment of the surgical limb, while participants in the repair group did the opposite, walking with lower pKAM and unloading the surgical limb relative to the contralateral limb. These findings may partially explain the conflicting evidence regarding pKAM after ACLR and the elevated risk for osteoarthritis (whether from overloading or underloading) after ACLR with concomitant medial meniscectomy or repair.

Level Of Evidence: Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.17.01014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6636792PMC
July 2018

Functional and Patient-Reported Outcomes Improve Over the Course of Rehabilitation: A Secondary Analysis of the ACL-SPORTS Trial.

Sports Health 2018 Sep/Oct;10(5):441-452. Epub 2018 Jun 20.

Biomechanics and Movement Science Program, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.

Background: The Anterior Cruciate Ligament-Specialized Post-Operative Return to Sports (ACL-SPORTS) randomized controlled trial was designed to address deficits in functional and patient-reported outcomes. The trial examined the effects of a secondary ACL prevention program that included progressive strengthening, agility training, plyometrics (SAP), and other components of current primary prevention protocols, with perturbation training (SAP + PERT group) and without PERT (SAP group). A secondary purpose of this study was to examine whether study outcomes differed between men and women.

Hypotheses: (1) Athletes in both the SAP and SAP + PERT groups will have improved knee function and patient-reported outcome measures from pre- to posttraining, (2) the SAP + PERT group would have higher outcome scores than the SAP group, and (3) outcomes will differ by sex.

Study Design: Randomized controlled trial (NCT01773317).

Level Of Evidence: Level 2.

Methods: A total of 79 athletes (39 women) were randomized into the SAP and SAP + PERT groups. All athletes had undergone primary ACL reconstruction and achieved 80% quadriceps strength limb symmetry (QI), full range of motion, had minimal effusion, and had no pain. Additionally, all had begun running again. Prior to and after the training program, athletes' QI, hopping, and patient-reported outcomes were assessed. Repeated-measures analyses of variance were used to determine whether there were differences between groups. Subsequently, the SAP and SAP + PERT groups were collapsed to analyze differences between sexes.

Results: There were significant increases for all variables, with the exception of QI. There were no differences between the SAP and SAP + PERT groups. Both men and women made significant improvements in all knee function and patient-reported outcome measures except QI. Men made significant improvements in QI, whereas women did not.

Conclusion: The common elements of the training program that all athletes received (10 sessions of progressive strengthening, agility training, plyometrics, and secondary prevention) may be a beneficial addition to the return-to-sport phase of ACL reconstruction rehabilitation. The results suggest that women may require further quadriceps strengthening to maintain and improve QI, an important focus given the relationship between QI and risk for reinjury.

Clinical Relevance: During the return-to-sport phase of ACL reconstruction rehabilitation, clinicians tend to shift their focus away from strengthening toward more advanced sports-related tasks. These results indicate that women in particular need continued focus on quadriceps strengthening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1941738118779023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6116107PMC
September 2018

Corticospinal and intracortical excitability differ between athletes early after ACLR and matched controls.

J Orthop Res 2018 11 13;36(11):2941-2948. Epub 2018 Jun 13.

Biomechanics Movement Science, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.

Neuromuscular impairments, such as quadriceps weakness and activation deficits, persist after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). Recent research demonstrating changes in the function of the primary motor cortex after ACLR posits that quadriceps impairments may be influenced by reduced corticospinal excitability. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the integrity of the neuromotor axis of the vastus medialis is altered in subjects 2 weeks post-ACLR compared to uninjured control subjects. Eighteen athletes 2 weeks post-ACLR and 18 age and sex matched uninjured control subjects participated in this cross-sectional study. We quantified corticospinal (resting motor threshold, RMT; motor evoked potential amplitudes at 120% RMT, MEP ) and intracortical (inhibition and facilitation) excitability using single and paired pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), respectively. We assessed spinal-reflex excitability (H-reflex amplitude normalized to maximal M-wave, H/M ratio) using peripheral stimulation. Subjects post-ACLR had higher RMTs (p = 0.001), greater MEP amplitudes (p = 0.001), and more asymmetric facilitation (p = 0.041) than the uninjured control subjects. No significant group differences were found for intracortical inhibition (p = 0.289) and H/M ratio (p = 0.332). Our findings indicate that both intracortical and corticospinal excitability of vastus medialis are bilaterally altered in subjects 2 weeks after ACLR. Given persistent neuromuscular deficits seen after ACLR, rehabilitation strategies targeting intracortical and corticospinal deficits may potentially improve clinical outcomes. © 2018 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 36:2941-2948, 2018.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jor.24062DOI Listing
November 2018

Gait mechanics and tibiofemoral loading in men of the ACL-SPORTS randomized control trial.

J Orthop Res 2018 09 24;36(9):2364-2372. Epub 2018 Apr 24.

Biomechanics and Movement Science, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.

The risk for post-traumatic osteoarthritis is elevated after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR), and may be especially high among individuals with aberrant walking mechanics, such as medial tibiofemoral joint underloading 6 months postoperatively. Rehabilitation training programs have been proposed as one strategy to address aberrant gait mechanics. We developed the anterior cruciate ligament specialized post-operative return-to-sports (ACL-SPORTS) randomized control trial to test the effect of 10 post-operative training sessions consisting of strength, agility, plyometric, and secondary prevention exercises (SAPP) or SAPP plus perturbation (SAPP + PERT) training on gait mechanics after ACLR. A total of 40 male athletes (age 23 ± 7 years) after primary ACLR were randomized to SAPP or SAPP + PERT training and tested at three distinct, post-operative time points: 1) after impairment resolution (Pre-training); 2) following 10 training sessions (Post-training); and 3) 2 years after ACLR. Knee kinematic and kinetic variables as well as muscle and joint contact forces were calculated via inverse dynamics and a validated electromyography-informed musculoskeletal model. There were no significant improvements from Pre-training to Post-training in either intervention group. Smaller peak knee flexion angles, extension moments, extensor muscle forces, medial compartment contact forces, and tibiofemoral contact forces were present across group and time, however the magnitude of interlimb differences were generally smaller and likely not meaningful 2 years postoperatively. Neither SAPP nor SAPP + PERT training appears effective at altering gait mechanics in men in the short-term; however, meaningful gait asymmetries mostly resolved between post-training and 2 years after ACLR regardless of intervention group. © 2018 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 36:2364-2372, 2018.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jor.23895DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6157011PMC
September 2018

Report of the Clinical and Functional Primary Outcomes in Men of the ACL-SPORTS Trial: Similar Outcomes in Men Receiving Secondary Prevention With and Without Perturbation Training 1 and 2 Years After ACL Reconstruction.

Clin Orthop Relat Res 2017 Oct;475(10):2523-2534

Biomechanics and Movement Science Program, University of Delaware, 540 South College Avenue, Newark, DE, 19711, USA.

Background: Athletes often are cleared to return to activities 6 months after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction; however, knee function measures continue to improve up to 2 years after surgery. Interventions beyond standard care may facilitate successful return to preinjury activities and improve functional outcomes. Perturbation training has been used in nonoperative ACL injury and preoperative ACL reconstruction rehabilitation, but has not been examined in postoperative ACL reconstruction rehabilitation, specifically return to sport rehabilitation.

Questions/purposes: The purpose of this study was to determine whether there were differences at 1 and 2 years after ACL reconstruction between the male SAP (strengthening, agility, and secondary prevention) and SAP+PERT (SAP protocol with the addition of perturbation training) groups with respect to (1) quadriceps strength and single-legged hop limb symmetry; (2) patient-reported knee outcome scores; (3) the proportion who achieve self-reported normal knee function; and (4) the time from surgery to passing return to sport criteria.

Methods: Forty men who had completed ACL reconstruction rehabilitation and met enrollment criteria (3-9 months after ACL reconstruction, > 80% quadriceps strength limb symmetry, no pain, full ROM, minimal effusion) were randomized into the SAP or SAP+PERT groups of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament-Specialised Post-Operative Return to Sports trial (ACL-SPORTS), a single-blind randomized clinical study of secondary prevention and return to sport. Quadriceps strength, single-legged hopping, the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) 2000 subjective knee form, Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS)-sports and recreation, and KOOS-quality-of-life subscales were collected 1 and 2 years after surgery by investigators blind to group. Athletes were categorized as having normal or abnormal knee function at each time point based on IKDC score, and the time until athletes passed strict return-to-sport criteria was also recorded. T-tests, chi square tests, and analyses of variance were used to identify differences between the treatment groups over time.

Results: There were no differences between groups for quadriceps symmetry (1 year: SAP = 101% ± 14%, SAP+PERT = 101% ± 14%; 2 years: SAP = 103% ± 11%, SAP+PERT = 98% ± 14%; mean differences between groups at 1 year: 0.4 [-9.0 to 9.8], 2 years = 4.5 [-4.3 to 13.1]; mean difference between 1 and 2 years: SAP = -1.0 [-8.6 to 6.6], SAP+PERT = 3.0 [-4.3 to 10.3], p = 0.45) or single-legged hop test limb symmetry. There were no clinically meaningful differences for any patient-reported outcome measures. There was no difference in the proportion of athletes in each group who achieved normal knee function at 1 year (SAP 14 of 19, SAP+PERT 18 of 20, odds ratio 0.31 [0.5-19.0]; p = 0.18); however, the SAP+PERT group had fewer athletes with normal knee function at 2 years (SAP 17 of 17, SAP+PERT 14 of 19, p = 0.03). There were no differences between groups in the time to pass return to sport criteria (SAP = 325 ± 199 days, SAP+PERT = 233 ± 77 days; mean difference 92 [-9 to 192], p = 0.09).

Conclusions: This randomized trial found few differences between an ACL rehabilitation program consisting of strengthening, agility, and secondary prevention and one consisting of those elements as well as perturbation training. In the absence of clinically meaningful differences between groups in knee function and self-reported outcomes measures, the results indicate that perturbation training may not contribute additional benefit to the strengthening, agility, and secondary prevention base of the ACL-SPORTS training program.

Level Of Evidence: Level II, therapeutic study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11999-017-5280-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5599384PMC
October 2017

Report of the Primary Outcomes for Gait Mechanics in Men of the ACL-SPORTS Trial: Secondary Prevention With and Without Perturbation Training Does Not Restore Gait Symmetry in Men 1 or 2 Years After ACL Reconstruction.

Clin Orthop Relat Res 2017 Oct;475(10):2513-2522

University of Delaware, 540 S College Avenue, 210-Z, Newark, DE, 19713, USA.

Background: Movement asymmetries during walking are common after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and reconstruction and may influence the early development of posttraumatic osteoarthritis. Preoperative neuromuscular training (like perturbation training, which is neuromuscular training requiring selective muscle activation in response to surface perturbations) improves gait asymmetries and functional outcomes among people who are ACL-deficient, but the effect of postoperative perturbation training on gait mechanics after ACL reconstruction is unknown.

Questions/purposes: Among men undergoing ACL reconstruction, we sought to compare strength, agility, and secondary prevention (SAP) treatment with SAP plus perturbation training (SAP+PERT) with respect to (1) gait mechanics; and (2) elimination of gait asymmetries 1 and 2 years after ACL reconstruction.

Methods: Forty men were randomized into a SAP group or a SAP+PERT group after ACL reconstruction and before returning to preinjury activities. Participants were required to achieve ≥ 80% quadriceps muscle strength symmetry, minimal knee effusion, full ROM, no reports of pain, and completion of a running progression (all between 3 and 9 months postoperatively) before enrollment. Of 94 potentially eligible athletic male patients evaluated < 9 months after ACL reconstruction, 54 were excluded for prespecified reasons. Participants underwent motion analysis during overground walking at 1 and 2 years postoperatively. Variables of interest included (1) sagittal and frontal plane hip and knee angles and moments at peak knee flexion angle; (2) sagittal plane hip and knee angles and moments at peak knee extension angle; (3) sagittal plane hip and knee excursion during weight acceptance; and (4) sagittal plane hip and knee excursion during midstance. We also calculated the proportion of athletes in each group who walked with clinically meaningful interlimb asymmetry in sagittal plane hip and knee variables and compared these proportions using odds ratios. There was no differential loss to followup between groups.

Results: There were no differences between the SAP or SAP+PERT groups for the biomechanical gait variables. The involved limb's knee excursion during midstance for the SAP (mean ± SD: 1 year: 15° ± 5°; 2 years: 16° ± 5°) and SAP+PERT (1 year: 16° ± 5°; 2 years: 15° ± 4°) athletes was not different between groups at 1 year (mean difference: -1°; 95% confidence interval [CI], -5° to 2°; p = 0.49) or 2 years (mean difference: 1°; 95% CI, -2° to 4°; p = 0.54). There were no differences between SAP and SAP+PERT athletes regarding the elimination of gait asymmetries, and gait asymmetries persisted to a large degree in both groups 1 and 2 years postoperatively. At 1 year, 11 of 18 SAP and 11 of 20 SAP+PERT athletes walked with truncated knee excursions during weight acceptance (odds ratio: 0.8, p = 0.70) and midstance (SAP 12 of 18, SAP+PERT 12 of 20; odds ratio: 0.8, p = 0.67), whereas at 2 years postoperatively, truncated knee excursions during weight acceptance (SAP seven of 17, SAP+PERT eight of 19; odds ratio: 1.0, p = 0.96) and midstance (SAP five of 17, SAP+PERT 11 of 19; odds ratio: 3.3, p = 0.09) remained prevalent.

Conclusions: We found that a comprehensive, progressive return-to-sport training program with or without perturbation was not effective at restoring interlimb symmetry among men 1 or 2 years after ACL reconstruction. Although gait asymmetries improved from 1 to 2 years postoperatively, meaningful asymmetries persisted in both groups. To restore gait symmetry after ACL reconstruction, additional interventions likely are necessary.

Level Of Evidence: Level II, therapeutic study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11999-017-5279-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5599383PMC
October 2017

Characterizing differential poststroke corticomotor drive to the dorsi- and plantarflexor muscles during resting and volitional muscle activation.

J Neurophysiol 2017 04 11;117(4):1615-1624. Epub 2017 Jan 11.

Department of Physical Therapy, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.

Imbalance of corticomotor excitability between the paretic and nonparetic limbs has been associated with the extent of upper extremity motor recovery poststroke, is greatly influenced by specific testing conditions such as the presence or absence of volitional muscle activation, and may vary across muscle groups. However, despite its clinical importance, poststroke corticomotor drive to lower extremity muscles has not been thoroughly investigated. Additionally, whereas conventional gait rehabilitation strategies for stroke survivors focus on paretic limb foot drop and dorsiflexion impairments, most contemporary literature has indicated that paretic limb propulsion and plantarflexion impairments are the most significant limiters to poststroke walking function. The purpose of this study was to compare corticomotor excitability of the dorsi- and plantarflexor muscles during resting and active conditions in individuals with good and poor poststroke walking recovery and in neurologically intact controls. We found that plantarflexor muscles showed reduced corticomotor symmetry between paretic and nonparetic limbs compared with dorsiflexor muscles in individuals with poor poststroke walking recovery during active muscle contraction but not during rest. Reduced plantarflexor corticomotor symmetry during active muscle contraction was a result of reduced corticomotor drive to the paretic muscles and enhanced corticomotor drive to the nonparetic muscles compared with the neurologically intact controls. These results demonstrate that atypical corticomotor drive exists in both the paretic and nonparetic lower limbs and implicate greater severity of corticomotor impairments to plantarflexor vs. dorsiflexor muscles during muscle activation in stroke survivors with poor walking recovery. The present study observed that lower-limb corticomotor asymmetry resulted from both reduced paretic and enhanced nonparetic limb corticomotor excitability compared with neurologically intact controls. The most asymmetrical corticomotor drive was observed in the plantarflexor muscles of individuals with poor poststroke walking recovery. This suggests that neural function of dorsi- and plantarflexor muscles in both paretic and nonparetic limbs may play a role in poststroke walking function, which may have important implications when developing targeted poststroke rehabilitation programs to improve walking ability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/jn.00393.2016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5380782PMC
April 2017

Gait mechanics and second ACL rupture: Implications for delaying return-to-sport.

J Orthop Res 2017 09 18;35(9):1894-1901. Epub 2016 Nov 18.

Biomechanics and Movement Science, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.

Second anterior cruciate ligament rupture is a common and devastating injury among young women who return to sport after ACL reconstruction, but it is inadequately understood. The purpose of this study was to compare gait biomechanics and return-to-sport time frames in a matched cohort of young female athletes who, after primary ACLR, returned to sport without re-injury or sustained a second ACL injury. Approximately 6 months after primary reconstruction, 14 young women (age 16 ± 2 years) involved in jumping, cutting, and pivoting sports underwent motion analysis testing after physical therapy and impairment resolution. Following objective return-to-sport clearance, seven athletes sustained a second ACL rupture within 20 months of surgery (13.4 ± 4.9 months). We matched them by age, sex, and sport-level to seven athletes who returned to sports without re-injury. Data were analyzed using a previously validated, EMG-informed, patient-specific musculoskeletal model. Compared to athletes without re-injury, athletes who sustained a second ACL injury received surgery sooner (p = 0.023), had post-operative impairments resolved earlier (p = 0.022), reached criterion-based return-to-sport benchmarks earlier (p = 0.024), had higher body mass index (p = 0.039), and walked with lower peak knee flexor muscle forces bilaterally (p = 0.021). Athletes who sustained a second injury also tended to walk with larger (p = 0.089) and more symmetrical peak knee flexion angles and less co-contraction, all indicative of a more normal gait pattern. Statement of Clinical Significance: Delayed return-to-sport clearance even in the absence of gait or clinical impairments following primary ACL reconstruction may be necessary to mitigate second ACL injury risk in young women. © 2016 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 35:1894-1901, 2017.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jor.23476DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5423861PMC
September 2017
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