Background Individuals with a history of previous injury have been shown to be at higher risk for re-injury. It is plausible that this is due to balance deficits which have been identified as injury risk factors in multiple sports.
Objective To quantify the impact of previous knee joint injury on clinical and force plate measures of balance.
Design Historical Cohort.
Setting University of Calgary Human Performance Laboratory.
Participants 25 young adults with a 3–10 year history of intra-articular knee joint injury and 25 matched (age, sex and sport) uninjured controls (34 males: 17-26 yrs; 16 females: 14-26 yrs).
Assessment of risk factors Intra-articular knee injury was defined as a clinical diagnosis of bone, cartilage, ligament or meniscal injury that required medical consultation and disrupted sport participation.
Main outcome measures Star excursion balance test (SEBT), medio-lateral entropic half-life (EHL-ML), anterior-posterior entropic half-life (EHL-AP), and center of pressure 95% ellipse area (EA). Force plate measures were quantified during single leg quiet standing.
Results Injured participants had longer EHL-ML compared to healthy controls [Injured: 103 ms (95% CI: 97–109), Uninjured 94 ms (95% CI: 88–100), (paired t=2.031, P=.048)]. No group differences were found for the remaining balance measure [SEBT: Injured 76% (95% CI: 74–79), Uninjured 79% (95% CI: 77,80), (paired t=1.413, P=.164); EHL-AP: Injured 169 ms (95% CI: 148–190), Uninjured 152 ms (95% CI: 138–167), (paired t=1.289, P=.204); EA: Injured 694 mm2 (95% CI: 585–802), Uninjured 597 mm2 (95% CI: 505–688), (paired t=1.340, P=.187)].
Conclusions Participants with previous knee injury (3–10 years) were unable to adjust their position as quickly and frequently as healthy controls as indicated by longer EHL-ML. This result suggests that previous injury has an impact on balance ability. These findings support the evaluation of balance to inform the development of interventions to prevent re-injury.
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