Traditionally, clinicians have utilized various physical characteristics as criteria to assess the functional status of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)-insufficient athletes without validating the efficacy of such assessments. The primary purposes of this study were to determine the relationship between traditionally used physical characteristics and functional capacity of individuals with an ACL insufficiency and to compare functional results of two groups of ACL-insufficient athletes. Forty-one subjects were tested for strength and power on an isokinetic device, anthropometric characteristics, and function using three functional performance tests (FPT). Results revealed that conventional physical characteristics correlated poorly (r = .01 to r = .42) with the functional tests. Additionally, athletes who were able to return to preinjury levels of activity performed significantly (p < 0.05) better on the FPT than those who were unable to return to preinjury activities. Based on the results of this study, use of such traditional physical characteristics for predicting function in the ACL-insufficient athlete may be inappropriate, and the functional performance tests designed for this study appear to be the most valuable assessment of the athlete's functional capacity.
J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1992;16(4):174-181.
Key Words: ACL insufficient, assessment, function