BACKGROUND: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures account for 60% of sports-related injuries and the gold standard for treatment is surgical intervention to replace the damaged ligament with a graft to restore function of the ACL and re-establish stability within the knee joint. Braces are typically used to return to previous physical activity levels; however, there are no clear guidelines on their utilization. Beyond the physical consequences of undergoing ACL reconstruction surgery, the psychological component is often ignored. Studies show that those who underwent the surgery reported feelings of hesitation, lack of trust, and fear of reinjury. There are two purposes of this study, the first is to learn more about the experience with bracing from the patient perspective and to gather information that may be pertinent to their own story. The second purpose of this project is to analyze the impact of bracing on physical performance and how this relates to the mental status of the patient during a drop vertical jump. METHODS: For Aim 1, inclusion criteria include ACL tear and surgical repair in the past 5 years, and survey data is being collected via Qualtrics to determine brace usage, graft type, and overall experiences with ACL reconstruction/rehab and bracing. For Aim 2, WKU college students who complete Aim 1 will complete a drop vertical jump (DVJ) protocol with and without the usage of their knee brace. After familiarization protocols, participants will be asked to step off a 30-centimeter box with one foot, followed by a two-foot landing on the force plates and then immediately perform a maximum vertical jump for each condition (braced and unbraced). Following each condition, participants complete a survey to gather data regarding their confidence and overall functionality of their affected knee. Questions on the survey are modified from the International Knee Documentation Committee 2000, the ACL- Return to Sport after Injury, and the Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia questionnaires. Ground reaction forces and lower extremity muscular activity (EMG) will be collected. ANTICIPATED RESULTS: It is hypothesized that the braced condition will lead to greater vertical ground reaction forces, greater EMG activity, and increased confidence, compared to the unbraced condition.

This document is currently not available here.