Quadriceps weakness is common after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction and can alter gait mechanics. Functional resistance training (FRT) is a novel approach to retraining strength after injury, but it is unclear how it alters gait mechanics. Therefore, we tested how 3 different types of FRT devices: a knee brace resisting extension (unidirectional brace), a knee brace resisting extension and flexion (bidirectional brace), and an elastic band pulling backwards on the ankle (elastic band)–acutely alter gait kinetics in this population.
The type of FRT device will affect ground-reaction forces (GRFs) during and after the training. Specifically, the uni- and bidirectional braces will increase GRFs when compared with the elastic band.
A total of 15 individuals with ACL reconstruction received FRT with each device over 3 separate randomized sessions. During training, participants walked on a treadmill while performing a tracking task with visual feedback. Sessions contained 5 training trials (180 seconds each) with rest between. Vertical and anterior-posterior GRFs were assessed on the ACL-reconstructed leg before, during, and after training. Changes in GRFs were compared across devices using 1-dimensional statistical parametric mapping.
Resistance applied via bidirectional brace acutely increased gait kinetics during terminal stance/pre-swing (ie,more »
FRT after ACL reconstruction can acutely alter gait kinetics during training. Devices can be applied to selectively alter gait kinetics. However, the long-term effects of FRT after ACL reconstruction with these devices are still unknown.
FRT may be applied to alter gait kinetics of the involved limb after ACL reconstruction, depending on the device used.