Emma Lord, Sarah Scali, Whitley Stone, Melissa Tolbert. Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY.

BACKGROUND: One of the most common knee injuries is to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Tears to the ACL most often require surgical reconstruction and a long recovery journey. Despite rehabilitation, bilateral balance deficits often persist. In efforts to increase overall physical function in therapy settings and at home, virtual reality games such as the Nintendo Fit Balance Board and Nintendo Ring Fit, have become a therapeutic technique to improve function. Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of the Nintendo Fit programming and its Balance Board for patients recovering from neuromuscular diseases, orthopedic surgeries, and knee injuries. While there is less research evaluating its effectiveness, the programming of Nintendo’s Ring Fit is like those of the Balance Board and therefore may have potential as a non-clinical therapeutic modality for the prevention and rehabilitation of orthopedic conditions. Nintendo Ring Fit has several balance and strength activities to help patients with relevant therapeutic outcomes while also keeping them engaged and motivated throughout their recovery. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of this new technology to further improve balance and strength in post-ACL reconstruction patients. METHODS: Four participants between the ages of 18-24 will be recruited for this study. Participants must have had ACL reconstruction surgery in the last 1-2 years, been discharged from formal physical therapy, and have a continued history of participating in physical activity at least 3 times a week. Each participant will be asked to complete two in-person data collection days, as well as complete 6 weeks of guided programming on a Nintendo Ring Fit at home. Pre- and post-testing will include various balance (Y balance test & one-leg hop test) and strength assessments (handheld dynamometer), in addition to a basic analysis of current activity level and injury details, participants will be asked to complete a weekly survey indicating their degree of participation during the previous week. Data will be analyzed using repeated measures ANOVAs. ANTICIPATED RESULTS: It is anticipated that the Nintendo Ring Fit programming will reduce asymmetry deficits between involved and uninvolved legs in both strength and balance. Funding received from WKU Mahurin Honors Development Grant and WKU Faculty-Undergraduate Student Engagement Grant.

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