Drop Test to Assess Knee Stability through EMG and Inertial Analysis

Recovering from an injury can be a long and daunting process. ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears are one of the most dreaded knee injuries an athlete can have. After surgery and all the required rehab to help your knee recover from the trauma, there is still a legitimate concern of re-injury and performance loss when returning to sport. Luckily, there is an advanced test that can be performed to give you more peace of mind when it comes to getting ready, decreasing future injury risk, and to improve your confidence in returning to the game you love. Since these types of injuries can be devastating to any future achievement in sport (especially in young athletes), the ability to screen athletes for possible increased risk of ACL tears and apply preventative training techniques before they happen can potentially avoid going through this stressful process in the first place or having to repeat the whole process again should you re-injure your knee.

The Drop Fall test combines EMG (electromyograph) and inertial assessment and allows us to examine your muscles to see if they are ready and reactive to ensure your knee is protected from the high forces from your sport. 4 Wireless electromyograph sensors are placed on the affected leg (2 on the front thigh and 2 on the rear thigh) and an inertial sensor is worn around the waist that identifies when the foot hits the ground. Through advanced computer analysis it can be determined if your thigh muscles activated appropriately before your foot hit the ground in order to provide strong stability to your knee joint. 

A pre-activation timing in your thigh muscles that is outside of reference values could indicate an increased risk of re-injury to your knee. To address this issue an appropriate personalized exercise prescription of combined strengthening and agility/reactive drills can be developed to optimize activation timing in the appropriate muscles, lower the risk of injury or re-injury, decrease the time to return to sport if recovering from a knee injury, and give you the confidence to know that you are ready to get back into the game or move to the next level of competitiveness. 

If you would like more information for yourself or your athletes please contact Mike Croskery.

Posted in Fitness.