Evaluation of gait kinematics and symmetry during the first two stages of physiotherapy after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

June 2012
Acta of Bioengineering & Biomechanics;2012, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p91
Academic Journal
One of the primary goals of physiotherapy after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is to restore of the patient's normal gait patterns. However, to date, only a limited number of studies have examined gait during physiotherapeutic procedures following ACL reconstruction. Thus, the objective of the present study was to evaluate gait kinematics and symmetry in male patients after ACL reconstruction during the first two stages of their physiotherapy programme. Ninety-seven males, including 53 patients after primary ACL reconstruction in one limb and 44 healthy controls, participated in the study. The patients were examined using a movement analysis system during their physiotherapeutic programme (from the 2nd to the 12th week following reconstruction). Some selected parameters of gait kinematics, a dynamic range of movement in the knee joint and gait asymmetry coefficients were evaluated. During the 12th week of physiotherapy, a mean gait velocity increased by more than 0.97 m/s compared to that obtained during the 2nd week of physiotherapy. A statistically significant increase in the relative length of stance phase was observed in the involved extremity, from 36.1% to 62.7% (P = 0.01); the range of movement significantly improved from 25.8 degrees during the 2nd week to 63.7 degrees during the 12th week of physiotherapy. At the same time, the stance time asymmetry coefficient decreased from 68.5% to -0.4%. We observed a significant improvement in most of the gait parameters from the 2nd to the 12th week of physiotherapy after reconstruction and also in comparison to the results obtained for the control group.


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