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What is Isokinetic Testing?


After a major knee injury, isokinetic testing is used to assess the strength of the quadricep and hamstring of each leg. During this type of strength test, the amount of force produced varies, depending on how much effort the athlete can put forth. Isokinetic testing is the gold standard when it comes to measuring knee strength as it provides objective and consistent data to show the athlete’s progress.

The sports physical therapist will test both the non-surgical leg and the surgical leg to determine how much additional strength training is still needed to have balanced strength from side to side. This information is evaluated by the physical therapist and physician to determine if the athlete is ready to return to their sport.

Guidelines used to prepare student athletes for their personalized rehabilitation journey


To have surgery after an injury:

  • Your Isokinetic testing score must show at least 80% strength in the affected quads and hamstrings as compared to the unaffected leg

To begin running after an injury:

  • Your Isokinetic testing score must show at least 70% strength in the affected quads and hamstrings as compared to the unaffected leg

To begin gradual return to sport after an injury:

  • Your Isokinetic testing score must indicate at least 66% in your hamstring/quad ratio and also show at least 90% strength in the affected quads and hamstrings as compared to the unaffected leg