Effect of injury prevention training on knee mechanics in female adolescents during puberty

Author(s): Otsuki R, Kuramochi R, Fukubayashi T


Purpose/background:Female adolescents change their landing mechanics during puberty. It is unknown whether implementation of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury prevention training reduces the loss of knee control in female athletes during puberty. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of injury prevention training on dynamic knee alignment in female basketball players specifically when the knee mechanics were changing during puberty.

Methods:Sixty female junior high school basketball players participated and were divided into two groups: a training group (n = 32) and a control group (n = 28). The training group underwent an injury prevention program for 6 months, whereas the control group maintained a regular training routine. The knee valgus motion and knee flexion range of motion during a drop vertical jump were measured before and after the training period. The probability of a high knee abduction moment (pKAM) was also evaluated using an ACL injury prediction algorithm.

Results:The knee valgus motion was significantly increased in the control group (p < 0.001), whereas it did not change in the training group (p = 0.64). Similarly, the knee flexion range of motion was significantly decreased in the control group (p < 0.001), whereas it was not changed in the training group (p = 0.55). The pKAM was significantly increased in the control group (p < 0.001), but not in the training group (p = 0.06).

Conclusions:Implementation of injury prevention training was effective in limiting the loss of knee control in female athletes during puberty. Lowering the risk of ACL injury might be possible in this population.

Level of evidence:2b.

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