Gait-based evaluation of early rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

  • Project number: LSC18_018
  • Project Management: Andrea Zauner-Dungl, Karl Landsteiner University for Health Sciences / Clinical Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (University Hospital Krems)
  • Project partners: University of applied sciences St. Pölten / Institute of Health Sciences, Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences / Division of Biomechanics
  • Project duration: 45 months from 15 January 2020


Treatment after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is necessary to be able to resume sports early and to prevent long-term damage. The recommended number of postoperative physiotherapy sessions is unclear, mainly because studies have shown good clinical results despite less physiotherapy care (home exercise programmes). Gait pattern plays an essential role in the rehabilitation process. For this reason, and because 3D gait analysis is expensive, affordable and easy-to-use devices are needed for clinical use. Portable systems such as IMUs (Inertial Measurement Unit) are already used for clinical examinations. Nevertheless, there are few adequate methods and scores for gait analysis examinations after ACL reconstruction. The current study focuses on gait analysis considerations of early rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. For this purpose, a specific ACL rehabilitation score is developed, which takes into account several gait aspects as well as clinical parameters. The quality of the IMU data-based score will be evaluated using a 3D gait analysis system. Based on this developed score, the outcome of different rehabilitation programmes (home exercises versus standardised therapy) will be tested. For this purpose, a clinical trial will be conducted. Two groups of patients with different
postoperative treatment approach after ACL reconstruction are formed. Gait analyses are scheduled for postoperative weeks 6-7, 8-10 and 12-13, using a simple IMU-based system (G-Walk) on the one hand and a 3D gait analysis system for validation purposes on the other. A new ACL rehabilitation score will be developed which takes into account clinical parameters (including range of motion, IKDC, Lysholm), standard gait analysis parameters (kinematics, kinetics, spatio-temporal parameters), as well as more complex parameters such as complexity, regularity or local stability. Statistical analyses are performed to check the influence of the rehabilitation programmes as well as the suitability of the IMU-based score versus the 3D gait analysis data.

Univ.-Prof. DI Dr. Dieter Pahr

Univ.-Prof. DI Dr. Dieter Pahr

Head of
Division of Biomechanics

Prim. Clin. Ass. Prof. Dr. Andrea Zauner-Dungl

Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (University Hospital Krems)