© 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Purpose: To investigate the effects of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction on mechanical and contractile properties of the skeletal muscles of the lower extremities in soccer players through tensiomyography (TMG). Methods: All soccer players with acute ACL tear included underwent resting TMG assessment of muscles of both lower extremities before and 1 year after ACL reconstruction. The muscles assessed were vastus medialis (VM), vastus laterals (VL), rectus femoris (RF), semitendinosus (ST), biceps femoris (BF), gastrocnemius medialis (GM), and gastrocnemius lateralis (GL). The TMG parameters obtained for each muscle were maximal displacement (Dm), delay time (Td), contraction time (Tc), sustained time (Ts), and half-relaxation time (Tr). Results: The injured leg had a significant decrease in VL–Tc, ST–Tc, GM–Tc, GL–Tr, and GL–Td, and a significant increase in VM–Tr and GM–Ts in the postoperative compared to preoperative period. The non-injured leg demonstrated significant preoperative–postoperative changes in the VL, RF, and BF, but not in VM, ST, GM, and GL The magnitude of preoperative–postoperative differences in the injured leg was significantly higher in RF–Tc, ST–Tc, BF–Dm, and GL–Tr, but lower in RF–Tr and GM–Ts, compared to the non-injured leg. Both groups improved their symmetry between the quadriceps and hamstring muscle groups in both sides. Conclusions: The quadriceps muscles improved their resistance to fatigue and contraction velocity in both sides, and the hamstring muscles improved their contraction velocity and muscle tone in both sides as well. Improvements in contraction velocity and muscle tone were more evident in the quadriceps and hamstrings of the injured compared to the uninjured side. In addition, the intervention increased the percentage of symmetry between both sides in the TMG of the quadriceps muscles and the balance between ACL-agonist (hamstrings) and ACL-antagonist (quadriceps) muscle groups in both sides. This study shows how ACL reconstruction (and subsequent rehabilitation) can positively impact neuromuscular characteristics of the quadriceps and hamstrings. Level of evidence: Therapeutic, Level II.
- ACL reconstruction
- Soccer players