Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2018

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School


Program or Major

Electrical Engineering

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Wayne Smith

Second Advisor

Ronald Croce


The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is the primary source of rotational stability in the knee by preventing the tibia from sliding in front of the femur. When the ACL is torn, it typically must be repaired through reconstructive surgery which results in proprioceptive deficiencies in the knee. Proprioception plays an important role in understanding where one’s knee is in space, sensing movement and reacting accordingly. This study examines an alternative method of measuring proprioceptive responses to a stimulus (motion) by using electromyogram (EMG) and electroencephalogram (EEG) signals to observe muscle and brain activity. Two participants (one with an ACL reconstruction and a second with healthy knees) were tested three times over a six week period. Repeated measures allowed for an initial examination of how proprioception may vary over time in an individual with healthy knees and with an ACL reconstruction. This measurement strategy can examine the process of proprioception recovery after an ACL reconstruction. It has the potential to help physicians and physical therapists decide when a person can return to normal or strenuous activity as well as provide insight into whether uninjured patients have a proprioceptive deficit which may indicate an increased risk of injury.