Neural excitability alterations after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.
Pietrosimone BG, Lepley AS, Ericksen HM, Clements A, Sohn DH, and Gribble PA. J Athl Training. 2015; 50(6) 665-674.
Take Home Message: Following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery, patients have changes in the excitability of pathways that go from the brain (primary motor cortex) and down the spinal cord when compared with an uninjured limb as well as healthy control participants.
Many patients experience neuromuscular deficits after ACL reconstruction (ACLR). These deficits may be caused by changes in spinal-reflex excitability or corticomotor excitability, which is the excitability of the brain (primary motor cortex) and the related descending pathways in the spinal cord. By understanding the neural changes that occur in patients after an ACLR, clinicians may be able to improve ACLR rehabilitation to improve knee function, reduce the risk of reinjury, and potentially protect long-term joint health. Therefore, Pietrosimone and colleagues completed a case-control study to determine whether corticomotor and spinal-reflex excitability differed between individuals with an ACLR and healthy controls.