Context: Emerging evidence suggests that a lower quadriceps rate of torque development (RTD) after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction (ACLR) may be associated with altered landing mechanics. However, the influence of quadriceps RTD magnitude and limb symmetry on landing mechanics limb symmetry remains unknown. Objective: To assess the influence of quadriceps RTD magnitude and limb symmetry on limb symmetry in sagittalplane landing mechanics during functional landing tasks in females with or without ACLR. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: A total of 19 females with ACLR (age = 19.21 ± 1.81 years, height = 164.12 ± 6.97 cm, mass = 63.79 ± 7.59 kg, time after surgery = 20.05 ± 9.50 months) and 19 females serving as controls (age=21.11 ± 3.28 years, height = 167.26 ± 7.26 cm, mass = 67.28 ± 9.25 kg). Main Outcome Measure(s): Landing mechanics were assessed during a double-legged (DL) jump-landing task, a single-legged jump-landing task, and a side-cutting task. Quadriceps RTD was collected during isometric muscle contractions. Separate stepwise multiple linear regression models were used to determine the variance in limb symmetry in the sagittal-plane knee moment at initial contact, peak vertical ground reaction force, and loading rate that could be explained by quadriceps RTD magnitude or limb symmetry, group (ACLR or control), and their interaction. Results: In the ACLR group, greater limb symmetry in quadriceps RTD was associated with greater symmetry in sagittal-plane knee moment at initial contact during the DL task (P = .004). Peak vertical ground reaction force and loading rate could not be predicted by quadriceps RTD magnitude or limb symmetry, group, or their interaction during any task. Conclusions: Developing greater symmetry but not magnitude in quadriceps RTD likely enabled more symmetric sagittalplane knee landing mechanics during the DL task in the ACLR group and thus may reduce the risk of a second ACL injury. Such a protective effect was not found during the single-legged or side-cutting tasks, which may indicate that these tasks do not allow for the compensatory landing mechanism of shifting load to the uninvolved limb that was possible during the DL task.
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