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In vivo mechanical behaviour of the anterior cruciate ligament: A study of six daily and high impact activities.

Roldán, E and Reeves, ND and Cooper, G and Andrews, K (2017) In vivo mechanical behaviour of the anterior cruciate ligament: A study of six daily and high impact activities. Gait & Posture, 58. pp. 201-207. ISSN 0966-6362

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Abstract

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) plays a key role in the stability of the knee joint restricting the rotation and anterior tibial translation. However, there is a lack of knowledge of the in vivo ACL mechanical behaviour during high impact manoeuvres. The motion of 12 young participants with healthy knees was captured while they performed the following activities: walking, running, cross-over cutting, sidestep cutting, jumping and jumping with one leg. The in vivo ACL length and strain were estimated using experimental kinematic data and three degree of freedom (DOF) knee model. The in vivo ACL tensile forces were determined with a well-established force/strain relationship obtained through ACL tensile tests. Statistical regression models between ACL length with respect to angles for each activity have been performed in order to better understand the ACL failure mechanisms. The maximum ACL tensile force was observed during jumping vertically at maximum effort with two legs (1.076±0.113 N/BW). Surprisingly, the peak tensile ACL force for all subjects during crossover cutting (0.715±0.2647 N/BW) was lower than during walking (0.774±0.064 N/BW). Regression coefficients for crossover cutting indicated that excessive knee rotation and abduction angles contribute more significantly to the ACL elongation than in activities such as walking or running. These findings suggested that the ACL is subjected to multidirectional loading; further studies will be performed to investigate torsion, tensile and shear force on the ligament.

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