ACL valid diagnostics

Injuries and ruptures of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are frequent during physical activity. Adequate neuromuscular control stabilizes the knee actively to protect passive knee structures and to avoid injury.



Knowledge on the influence of ACL injury on the neuromuscular control of knee-stabilizing muscles is still sparse. The project contributes to this and aims to develop a valid diagnostic framework.

Course of action

During the return process to the pre-injury activity level, assessments of passive knee stability is performed. Additionally, motor skills (for example jump tests) are tested. Interpretation about knee function based on these assessments is not very specific. The aim of the project is therefore to develop a diagnostic framework to objectively measure deficits of sensorimotor competence by evaluating muscular activity in ACL patients under various conditions.


Both the voluntary movement patterns and the reflexive response to an external stimulus are still significantly altered 12 months after the injury compared to healthy individuals. This indicates that sensorimotor training forms are used too little in rehabilitation and that special attention should be paid to this before physical performance tests and sport-specific movements are used in therapy or as part of return-to-sport evaluations.

Looking ahead

Following the detection of neuromuscular changes caused by an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament, it should now be investigated whether training therapy measures are able to influence these changes. The subsequent project entitled "Establishing Sustainable Knee Health after Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury" (SNF project number 320038_2156841/1) is now investigating the effects of an 8-week training intervention with a special focus on sensorimotor / neuromuscular training content. By demonstrating the effectiveness of such an intervention, direct indications for clinical practice can be derived in order to directly improve the rehabilitation of patients with cruciate ligament injuries.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 3: Good health and well-being