More than a knee injury: ACL tears cause harmful changes in our brain structure

New research from the University of Michigan sheds light on the brain/body connection post ACL injury.

“It’s known that some joint function is often permanently lost after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, and re-injury is common even with intensive physical therapy, but it’s unclear why.” writes Laura Bailey in the article.

“New research from the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology shows structural changes in the brains of patients who underwent ACL reconstruction. These changes hinder recovery and may contribute to performance deficits and re-injury,” says study co-author Lindsey Lepley, U-M assistant professor of athletic training.

Lindsey Lepley and colleague Adam Lepley, clinical assistant professor of athletic training, took MRI brain scans of 10 ACL-reconstructed patients. The scans showed that part of the corticospinal tract—the pathway that scuttles messages from brain to muscles—had atrophied in the patients.

The corticospinal tract runs from front to back through both hemispheres of the brain. The side of the tract that controls the ACL-reconstructed knee was about 15% smaller than on the uninjured side, the researchers say.

Taking these recent findings into consideration, it’s even more important to quantify rehabilitation progress with objective data.

TRAZER is a cutting-edge technology that challenges the brain body connection to provide objective reporting on the rehabilitation progress of ACL-reconstructed patients.

Contact us to learn more about how TRAZER can help your organization.

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