Exploring individual adaptations to an anterior cruciate ligament injury prevention programme

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Abstract

Background: Individual responses to anterior cruciate ligament injury prevention programmes (ACL IPPs) have received little attention. This study examined the effects of an ACL IPP on neuromuscular control and lower limb biomechanics during landing at the group and individual levels. Methods: Sixteen female athletes were randomly allocated to training (n = 8) or control (n = 8) groups. Electromyography, and three-dimensional kinematic and kinetic data were collected during landing at two testing sessions. Repeated measures ANOVA and effect sizes (Cohen's d) examined the effect of the IPP at the group and individual levels. A sub-group analysis comparing the effect of the IPP on ‘high-’ (i.e. large peak knee abduction moment at baseline) versus ‘low-risk’ individuals was also conducted. Results: At the group level; the IPP increased activation of the medial hamstrings prior to landing (p < 0.001; d = 0.264) and the medial gastrocnemius at landing (p < 0.001; d = 0.426), and increased hip external rotation early after initial contact (p < 0.001; d = 0.476). Variable adaptations were seen across individuals within the training group for all variables (p < 0.001). The IPP had a large effect in reducing frontal plane knee moments for ‘high-risk’ individuals (d > 0.91), however these results did not reach statistical significance (p > 0.05). Conclusions: The IPP induced adaptations during landing, however, individual data revealed dissimilar responses to the programme. Individuals displaying a pre-existing high-risk strategy may incur greater benefits from IPPs, yet only if the programme targets the relevant high-risk strategy.

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Fox, A. S., Bonacci, J., McLean, S. G., & Saunders, N. (2018). Exploring individual adaptations to an anterior cruciate ligament injury prevention programme. Knee, 25(1), 83–98. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.knee.2017.11.011

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