The Influence of Using Force Plate Testing in ACL Reconstruction Rehabilitation on Re-Injury Rates

Date of Award

Summer 8-2024

Document Type

Non Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Exercise Science



First Advisor

Brenda Kehret

Second Advisor

Denise Howard


Surgical repairs for Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears are commonplace in any rehabilitation setting, totaling over 200,000 each year in high school alone. Due to a myriad of circumstances, up to 30% of those who had a surgical repair are going to experience a re-injury to that same leg, and while there are many who are not included in the re-injury population there are numerous others who will never return to their previous level of competition. Current objective measures for Return-to-Sport (RTS) criteria have not been raised to accommodate for the information clinicians have, and the bar must be elevated. Instead of relying on jump testing that measures distance or time alone, progress must be made to more advanced force plate technology that allows for more specific data collection and with this information, measured in a serial timeline, it is hypothesized that the re-injury rate can be significantly reduced. Collegiate athletes who have been cleared in their return-to-run protocol under supervision of their team physician can be enrolled in the study which will measure jump height, peak force, average force, peak braking force, and average braking force via Hawkins Dynamics G3 Bilateral Force Plate Set. Through the rehab process, athletes are expected to achieve 90% or greater limb symmetry in each of those variables through 24 months of post-operative rehabilitation before returning to sport. By advancing the testing criteria from standard hopping tests to dynamically measured variables, it is expected that the re-injury rate will significantly decrease.

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