Longitudinal Effects of Maturation on Lower Extremity Joint Stiffness in Adolescent Athletes
ABSTRACT Yearly changes in active joint stiffness may help explain when neuromuscular sex differences emerge in adolescent athletes that may relate to increased anterior cruciate ligament injury risk in females.
Pubertal males would demonstrate increases in knee stiffness while pubertal females would not. Second, postpubertal female athletes would have significantly lower knee joint stiffness than postpubertal male athletes.
Cohort Study; Level of Evidence 2 and Cross-Sectional Study; Level of Evidence 3.
Two hundred sixty-five females and 50 males participated in 2 testing sessions approximately 1 year apart. The subjects were classified as either pubertal (n = 182, age 12.4 +/- 0.9 years) or postpubertal (n = 133, age 14.5 +/- 1.4 years) based on the modified Pubertal Maturational Observational Scale at each visit. Active joint stiffness of the ankle, knee, and hip was estimated during a drop vertical jump. Stiffness was calculated as the slope of the moment-angle curve from a least squares linear regression during the stance phase.
All athletes showed increased active knee stiffness during the span of a year (P < 0.05). However, this increase was not different when stiffness was normalized to body mass. Only males demonstrated greater magnitudes of ankle and hip active stiffness (P < .05). Peak ankle and hip moments, but not knee moments, in postpubertal males were significantly greater than postpubertal females (P < .05). Females had a higher knee to hip moment ratio than males (P < .05).
Both males and females showed increased active knee stiffness during the span of a year; males demonstrated increased ankle and hip active stiffness as well. Differences in hip joint posture at initial contact (greater flexion in males) and external hip flexion moment (greater flexion magnitude in males) may indicate that males use a different hip recruitment strategy during drop vertical jumps than females.
- SourceAvailable from: Mélanie L Beaulieu[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Excessive knee abduction loading is a contributing factor to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury risk. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a double-leg landing training program with real-time visual feedback improves frontal-plane mechanics during double- and single-leg landings. Knee abduction angles and moments and vertical ground reaction forces (GRF) of 21 recreationally active women were quantified for double- and single-leg landings before and after the training program. This program consisted of two sessions of double-leg jump landings with real-time visual feedback on knee abduction moments for the experimental group and without real-time feedback for the control group. No significant differences were found between training groups. In comparison with pre-training data, peak knee abduction moments decreased 12% post-training for both double- and single-leg landings; whereas peak vertical GRF decreased 8% post-training for double-leg landings only, irrespective of training group. Real-time feedback on knee abduction moments, therefore, did not significantly improve frontal-plane knee mechanics during landings. The effect of the training program on knee abduction moments, however, transferred from the double-leg landings (simple task) to single-leg landings (more complex task). Consequently, ACL injury prevention efforts may not need to focus on complex tasks during which injury occurs.Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 01/2013; DOI:10.1111/sms.12051 · 3.17 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence and incidence of patellofemoral pain (PFP) in young female athletes and prospectively evaluate measures of frontal plane knee loading during landing to determine their relationship to development of PFP. We hypothesized that increased dynamic knee abduction measured during preseason biomechanical testing would be increased in those who developed PFP relative to teammates who did not develop PFP. Middle and high school female athletes (n=240) were evaluated by a physician for PFP and for landing biomechanics prior to their basketball season. The athletes were monitored for athletic exposures and PFP injury during their competitive seasons. At the beginning of the season, the point prevalence of PFP was 16.3 per 100 athletes. The cumulative incidence risk and rate for the development of new unilateral PFP was 9.66 per 100 athletes and 1.09 per 1000 athletic exposures, respectively. All new PFPs developed in middle school athletes who demonstrated mean International Knee Documentation Committee score of 85.6+/-7.7 at diagnosis. The new PFP group demonstrated increased knee abduction moments at initial contact (95% CI: 0.32 to 4.62Nm) on the most-symptomatic limb and maximum (95% CI: 1.3 to 10.1Nm; P=0.02) on the least-symptomatic (or no symptoms) limb relative to the matched control limbs. Knee abduction moments remained increased in the new PFP group when normalized to body mass (P<0.05). The increased knee abduction landing mechanics in the new PFP group indicate that frontal plane loads contribute to increased incidence of PFP.Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon) 05/2010; 25(7):700-7. DOI:10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2010.04.001 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Context: Deficits in lower limb kinematics and postural stability are predisposing factors to the development of knee ligamentous injury. The extent to which these deficits are present after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is still largely unknown. The primary hypothesis of the present study was that female athletes who have undergone ACL reconstruction and who have returned to sport participation would exhibit deficits in dynamic postural stability as well as deficiencies in hip- and knee-joint kinematics when compared with an age-, activity-, and sex-matched uninjured control group. Objective: To investigate dynamic postural stability as quantified by the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) and simultaneous hip- and knee-joint kinematic profiles in female athletes who have undergone ACL reconstruction. Design: Descriptive laboratory study. Setting: University motion-analysis laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Fourteen female athletes who had previously undergone ACL reconstruction (ACL-R) and 17 age- and sex-matched uninjured controls. Intervention(s): Each participant performed 3 trials of the anterior, posterior-medial, and posterior-lateral directional components of the SEBT. Main Outcome Measure(s): Reach distances for each directional component were quantified and expressed as a percentage of leg length. Simultaneous hip- and knee-joint kinematic profiles were recorded using a motion-analysis system. Results: The ACL-R group had decreased reach distances on the posterior-medial (P < .01) and posterior-lateral (P < .01) directional components of the SEBT. During performance of the directional components of the SEBT, ACL-R participants demonstrated altered hip-joint frontal-, sagittal-, and transverse-plane kinematic profiles (P < .05), as well as altered knee-joint sagittal-plane kinematic profiles (P < .05). Conclusions: Deficits in dynamic postural stability and concomitant altered hip- and knee-joint kinematics are present after ACL reconstruction and return to competitive activity. The extent to which these deficits influence potential future injury is worthy of investigation.Journal of athletic training 03/2013; 48(2):172-185. DOI:10.4085/1062-6050-48.2.05 · 1.51 Impact Factor