Changes in stretch reflex excitability are related to 'giving way' symptoms in patients with anterior cruciate ligament rupture

Melnyk, Mark, Faist, Michael, Gothner, Martin, Claes, Lutz, & Friemert, Benedikt (2007) Changes in stretch reflex excitability are related to 'giving way' symptoms in patients with anterior cruciate ligament rupture. Journal of Neurophysiology, 97(1), pp. 474-480.

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Abstract

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A rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) usually leads to an altered stretch reflex excitability of the thigh muscles that stabilize the knee. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively assess reflex activity in the m. semitendinosus/semimembranosus after anterior tibial translation in 21 patients with isolated ACL ruptures. The patients were divided into a group with “giving way” symptoms (noncopers, n = 12) and a group without “giving way” symptoms (copers, n = 9). While the patients were standing upright with 30° knee flexion, a force of 300 N was applied to the knee to induce posterior–anterior tibial translation. Activity of m. semitendinosus/semimembranosus was measured using surface electromyography (EMG). A linear potentiometer was placed on the tibial tuberosity and measured maximum tibial translation during standing (i.e., functional condition). In addition, knee laxity was assessed with a KT1000 arthrometer under passive conditions. After ACL rupture, the short-latency response (SLR) latency remained unchanged (P = 0.21), whereas for the medium-latency response (MLR) it was significantly longer (P < 0.001). Significantly longer MLR latencies were noted for noncopers compared with copers (P < 0.01), whereas SLR latencies were similar. Significant differences between healthy and injured legs were noted after tibial translations using KT1000 (P < 0.001) and during stance (P < 0.001). Mechanical knee instability was found to be unchanged between copers and noncopers (KT1000: P = 0.97; tibial translation: P = 0.31). These results indicate that ACL rupture is associated with altered stretch reflex excitability, which may lead to “giving way” symptoms, and that altered stretch reflex excitability may be more important for the development of “giving way” than the mechanical instability of the knee.

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ID Code: 45219
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Articles free to read on journal website after 12 months
DOI: 10.1152/jn.00529.2006
ISSN: 0022-3077
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NEUROSCIENCES (110900)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > MEDICAL PHYSIOLOGY (111600)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > COGNITIVE SCIENCE (170200)
Deposited On: 24 Aug 2011 22:18
Last Modified: 18 May 2017 23:32

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