By Jordana Bieze Foster
Knee stiffness during landing in patients who have had anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is associated with biomarkers for cartilage degeneration, suggesting that a stiff landing technique may increase the risk of knee osteoarthritis (OA) in these patients, according to research presented in May at the ACSM meeting.
In 22 patients who were, on average, six months removed from ACL reconstruction, investigators from the University of Florida in Gainesville analyzed single-leg forward drop-landing mechanics and the urine concentration of two biomarkers for cartilage degeneration.
Knee stiffness was significantly associated with biomarker uC2C, while an association with biomarker uCTX-II approached significance. Peak vertical ground reaction forces and loading rates were not significantly associated with either biomarker.
The findings suggest that addressing landing stiffness during rehabilitation could help delay or prevent the onset of knee OA—which would be something of a paradigm shift.
“Return to play guidelines are not really geared toward preventing progression of OA,” said Terese L. Chmielewski, PT, PhD, an associate professor in the university’s Department of Physical Therapy, who presented the findings at the ACSM meeting.
Solis FM, Dominguez JA, Moser MW, et al. Association of biomechanical measures with biomarkers of articular cartilage degeneration following ACL reconstruction. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2014;45(5 Suppl):Abstract 1685.