Limb Symmetry Indexes Can Overestimate Knee Function After ACL Injury
Wellsandt E, Failla MJ, & Snyder-Mackler L. J Ortho Sport Phys Ther. 2017; Published online ahead of print
Take Home Message: If we compare a post-surgical knee to the uninvolved limb it may be ideal to test the uninvolved limb before surgery rather than later.
A patient trying to return to their previous level of activity after an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction must work hard to improve strength and function. Upon return, they are still at a high risk for another ACL tear and long-term complications from their injury. Clinicians commonly use limb symmetry indexes to assess what is “normal” for a patient during hop and strength tests. However, the uninvolved limb might be a poor standard to hold a patient to. The authors of this study compared limb symmetry indexes and estimated pre-injury capacity among 70 ACL reconstruction patients.