A COMPARISON OF ACUTE ACL STABILITY TESTS DONE PREOPERATIVELY
AND UNDER ANESTHESIA AT SURGERY IN RECREATIONAL MALE ATHLETES
Kong, Hamlet, Peckham and Mowbray (1994) have noted that:
Traditionally, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries have been difficult to diagnose...Studies have shown that the anterior drawer test has a poor sensitivity both in acute and chronic ACL deficient knees; thus, more emphasis has been placed on the pivot shift and Lachman tests. (p. 51)
However, as noted by the authors, even the pivot shift and Lachman tests can be relatively insensitive with respect to certain ACL injuries. For example, the authors found that in their sample, four cases of proven ACL rupture; this where clinical examination revealed an absent pivot shift and a near normal Lachman test following a displaced bucket handle tear of the medial meniscus.
Moreover, Kong, Hamlet, Peckham and Mowbray (1994) noted that their findings of incorrect diagnoses for the pivot shift and Lachman's test have been reproduced in cadaver studies. Given this it seems reasonable to state that continued research into ACL manual diagnostic tests is needed. The proposed study will answer this need through a comparison of three subject groups of male athletes with ACL injuries. All of the methods and procedures that will be used to make this comparison are reported below.
The subjects in the study will consist of 99 male recreational athletes between the ages of 20 and 35 years who have arthroscopically-proven complete ACL tears and who are to be operated on less than three weeks after injury. Inclusion criteria for the subjects are: (1) that they have a past history with no ACL injury reported and; and (2) the acute ACL injury must have occurred during athletic activity. Additional inclusion criteria are that all subjects will undergo ACL reconstruction surgery for their injuries; and subjects with ACL tears in addition to the me...