Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) deficiency may cause functional instability of the knee (noncopers), while other patients compensate and perform at the same level as before injury (copers). This pilot study investigated whether there is a compensatory electromyographic (EMG) activity of the hamstrings in copers, noncopers and control patients. Ten patients with an ACL deficiency were equally divided into two groups of copers and noncopers. All patients underwent gait analysis with EMG of six muscles around the knee. Ten healthy young men formed the control group. In contrast to noncopers, copers showed an atypical semitendinosus activity during stance phase; the corresponding trend was found in biceps femoris activity. There was no difference between copers and controls in knee extension during stance phase. The noncopers had less knee extension. Atypical hamstring muscle activity may thus be a compensatory mechanism by which copers enable themselves to perform on a normal level.
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Boerboom, A.L., Hof, A.L., Halbertsma, J.P. et al. Atypical hamstrings electromyographic activity as a compensatory mechanism in anterior cruciate ligament deficiency. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Art 9, 211–216 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/s001670100196
- Gait analysis Anterior cruciate ligament deficiency Electromyography Hamstrings Compensatory mechanism