Disagreement in Pass Rates Between Strength and Performance Tests in Patients Recovering From Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Xavier D. Thompson, Amelia S. Bruce, Mandeep Kaur, David R. Diduch, Stephen F. Brockmeier, Mark D. Miller, F. Winston Gwathmey, Brian C. Werner, Joe M. Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Performance on strength and functional tests is often used to guide postoperative rehabilitation progress and return to activity decisions after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). Clinicians may have difficulty in determining which criteria to follow if there is disagreement in performance outcomes among the tests. Purpose/Hypothesis: The purpose of this study was to compare pass rates between strength tests and single-leg hop (SLHOP) tests among men and women and between patients with lower and higher preinjury activity levels recovering from ACLR. We hypothesized that pass rates would be nonuniformly distributed among test types, sex, and activity level and that more participants would pass hop tests than strength tests. Design: Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: A total of 299 participants (146 men; 153 women)—at a mean of 6.8 ± 1.4 months after primary, unilateral, and uncomplicated ACLR (mean age, 23 ± 9.7 years; mean height, 172 ± 10.5 cm; mean mass, 75.8 ± 18.4 kg)—completed testing. Quadri.tif strength was evaluated using peak torque during isokinetic knee extension at 90 deg/s and 180 deg/s. Jump distance during the SLHOP and triple hop tests was measured (in cm). Strength and hop test measures were evaluated based on the limb symmetry index ((LSI) = (ACLR / contralateral side) × 100). We operationally defined “pass” as >90% on the LSI. Results: Pass rates were nonuniformly distributed between isokinetic knee extension at 90 deg/s and the SLHOP test (χ2 = 18.64; P <.001). Disagreements between isokinetic testing at 90 deg/s and the SLHOP test occurred in 36.5% (109/299) of the participants. Among those who failed strength testing and passed hop testing, a greater portion reported higher activity levels before their injury (χ2 = 6.90; P =.01); however, there was no difference in pass rates between men and women. Similar patterns of disagreement were observed between all strength test and hop test outcomes. Conclusion: ACLR patients with higher activity levels may be more likely to pass hop testing despite failing quadri.tif strength testing. This may be an indicator of movement compensations to achieve jump symmetry in the presence of quadri.tif weakness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2111-2118
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • anterior cruciate ligament
  • functional testing
  • muscle strength
  • return to play

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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