Characterization of Thigh and Shank Segment Angular Velocity During Jump Landing Tasks Commonly Used to Evaluate Risk for ACL Injury

  • Dowling A
  • Favre J
  • Andriacchi T
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The dynamic movements associated with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury during jump landing suggest that limb segment angular velocity can provide important information for understanding the conditions that lead to an injury. Angular velocity measures could provide a quick and simple method of assessing injury risk without the constraints of a laboratory. The objective of this study was to assess the inter-subject variations and the sensitivity of the thigh and shank segment angular velocity in order to determine if these measures could be used to characterize jump landing mechanisms. Additionally, this study tested the correlation between angular velocity and the knee abduction moment. Thirty-six healthy participants (18 male) performed drop jumps with bilateral and unilateral landing. Thigh and shank angular velocities were measured by a wearable inertial-based system, and external knee moments were measured using a marker-based system. Discrete parameters were extracted from the data and compared between systems. For both jumping tasks, the angular velocity curves were well defined movement patterns with high inter-subject similarity in the sagittal plane and moderate to good similarity in the coronal and transverse planes. The angular velocity parameters were also able to detect differences between the two jumping tasks that were consistent across subjects. Furthermore, the coronal angular velocities were significantly correlated with the knee abduction moment (R of 0.28-0.51), which is a strong indicator of ACL injury risk. This study suggested that the thigh and shank angular velocities, which describe the angular dynamics of the movement, should be considered in future studies about ACL injury mechanisms.

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  • Ariel V. Dowling

  • Julien Favre

  • Thomas P. Andriacchi

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