OBJECTIVE: Functional strength deficits associated with chronic isolated posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) insufficiency have received limited attention in the literature. The purpose of this study was to determine the eccentric and concentric isokinetic moment characteristics of the quadriceps and hamstrings in a sample of patients with isolated PCL injury. METHODS: Eccentric and concentric mean average and average peak moments were measured for 17 patients with a history of conservatively treated isolated PCL injury using an isokinetic dynamometer. Quadriceps and hamstring isokinetic moments were recorded from 10 degree to 90 degree of knee flexion. Strength ratios were calculated and compared with those reported in the literature for healthy subjects. RESULTS: The hamstrings of the involved side (eccentric/concentric (E/C) ratio = 1.06) were significantly weaker (p<0.05) eccentrically than those of the contralateral side (E/C ratio = 1.29). All hamstrings/quadriceps (H/Q) ratios were less than the universally accepted value of 0.60 and the eccentric H/Q ratio for the injured extremity was significantly lower than the non-injured (p<0.05). In a bilateral comparison, the injured/non-injured (I/N) ratio was less than 1.00 for concentric quadriceps, eccentric quadriceps, and hamstring isokinetic moments. Calculation of the E/C ratio showed that, for the quadriceps, it was 1.08 on the injured side and 1.07 on the non-injured extremity. CONCLUSIONS: Eccentric strengthening should be an integral part of functionally rehabilitating the quadriceps and hamstrings of athletes who suffer from the complications associated with chronic isolated PCL insufficiency.
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