Objective classification and scoring of movement deficiencies in patients with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Chris Richter, Enda King, Siobhan Strike, Andrew Franklyn-Miller

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Motion analysis systems are widely employed to identify movement deficiencies—e.g. patterns that potentially increase the risk of injury or inhibit performance. However, findings across studies are often conflicting in respect to what a movement deficiency is or the magnitude of association to a specific injury. This study tests the information content within movement data using a data driven framework that was taught to classify movement data into the classes: NORM, ACLOP and ACLNO OP, without the input of expert knowledge. The NORM class was presented by 62 subjects (124 NORM limbs), while 156 subjects with ACL reconstruction represented the ACLOP and ACLNO OP class (156 limbs each class). Movement data from jumping, hopping and change of direction exercises were examined, using a variety of machine learning techniques. A stratified shuffle split cross-validation was used to obtain a measure of expected accuracy for each step within the analysis. Classification accuracies (from best performing classifiers) ranged from 52 to 81%, using up to 5 features. The exercise with the highest classification accuracy was the double leg drop jump (DLDJ; 81%), the highest classification accuracy when considering only the NORM class was observed in the single leg hop (81%), while the DLDJ demonstrated the highest classification accuracy when considering only for the ACLOP and ACLNO OP class (84%). These classification accuracies demonstrate that biomechanical data contains valuable information and that it is possible to differentiate normal from rehabilitating movement patterns. Further, findings highlight that a few features contain most of the information, that it is important to seek to understand what a classification model has learned, that symmetry measures are important, that exercises capture different qualities and that not all subjects within a normative cohort utilise ‘true’ normative movement patterns (only 27 to 71%).

© 2019, Richter et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0206024
JournalPLoS One
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2019


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries/physiopathology
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement
  • Movement Disorders/physiopathology

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