Isometric Knee Strength is Greater in Individuals Who Score Higher on Psychological Readiness to Return to Sport After Primary Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Barrie S. Sugarman, Zach B. Sullivan, Daniel Le, Carolyn Killelea, Mallory S. Faherty, Lee H. Diehl, Jocelyn R. Wittstein, Jonathan C. Riboh, Alison P. Toth, Annunziato Amendola, Dean C. Taylor, Timothy C. Sell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is extremely common among athletes. Rate of second ACL injury due to surgical graft rupture or contralateral limb ACL injury is approximately 15-32%. Psychological readiness to return to sport (RTS) may be an important predictor of successful RTS outcomes. Psychological readiness can be quantified using the ACL Return to Sport after Injury (ACL-RSI) questionnaire, with higher scores demonstrating greater psychological readiness. Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in functional performance and psychological readiness to return to sport among athletes who have undergone primary ACL reconstruction (ACLR). Study Design Descriptive cohort study Methods Eighteen athletes who had undergone primary ACLR were tested at time of RTS clearance. The cohort was divided into two groups, high score (HS) and low score (LS), based on median ACL-RSI score, and performance on static and dynamic postural stability testing, lower extremity isokinetic and isometric strength testing, and single leg hop testing was compared between the groups using an independent samples t-test. Results The median ACL-RSI score was 74.17. The average ACL-RSI score was 83.1±6.2 for the HS group and 61.8±8.0 for the LS group. High scorers on the ACL-RSI performed significantly better on isometric knee flexion as measured via handheld dynamometry (22.61% ±6.01 vs. 12.12% ±4.88, p=0.001) than the low score group. Conclusion The findings suggest that increased knee flexion strength may be important for psychological readiness to RTS after primary ACLR. Further research is indicated to explore this relationship, however, a continued emphasis on improving hamstring strength may be appropriate during rehabilitation following ACLR to positively impact psychological readiness for RTS. Level of Evidence III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1330-1339
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physical Therapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2022


  • anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction
  • psychological readiness
  • return to sport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Isometric Knee Strength is Greater in Individuals Who Score Higher on Psychological Readiness to Return to Sport After Primary Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this