Knee extensor torque-velocity relationships following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Xavier D. Thompson, Amelia S. Bruce Leicht, Haleigh M. Hopper, 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: The inherent nature of the torque-velocity relationship is the inverse nature between the velocity of muscle contraction and torque production and is an indication of muscle function. The purpose of this study was to characterize the torque-velocity relationship in the quadriceps following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction compared to healthy limbs. Methods: 681 participants were included, 493 of which were patients at least four months following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (23.2 ± 10.08 yr, 6.6 ± 5.37 months post-surgery) and 188 were healthy participants (21.6 ± 3.77 yr). A subset of 175 post-surgical participants completed a repeated visit (8.1 ± 1.71 months post-surgery). Participants completed isokinetic knee extension at 90°/s and 180°/s. A one-way ANOVA was used to compare torque velocity relationships by limb type (surgical, contralateral, healthy). Paired samples t-tests were conducted to analyze the torque-velocity relationship across limbs and across time. Findings: There was a large effect for limb type on torque-velocity (F(2, 1173) = 146.08, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.20). Surgical limbs demonstrated significantly lower torque-velocity relationships compared to the contralateral limbs (ACLR: 0.26 Nm/kg, contralateral:0.55 Nm/kg, p < 0.001, d = 1.18). Healthy limbs had similar torque-velocity relationships bilaterally (dominant limb: 0.48 Nm/kg, non-dominant limb: 0.49 Nm/kg, p = 0.45). The torque velocity relationship for the involved limb significantly increased in magnitude over time (+0.11 Nm/kg, p < 0.001, d = −0.61) while the contralateral limb torque-velocity relationship remained stable over time (0.0 Nm/kg difference, p = 0.60). Interpretation: Following surgery, the knee extensors appear to have altered torque-velocity relationships compared to contralateral and healthy limbs. This may indicate a specific target for assessment and rehabilitation following surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106058
JournalClinical Biomechanics
StatePublished - Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Anterior cruciate ligament
  • Knee
  • Muscle
  • Muscle contraction / physiology
  • Torque

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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