Landing mechanics during side hopping and crossover hopping maneuvers in noninjured women and women with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Author(s): Ortiz A, Olson S, Trudelle-Jackson E, Rosario M, Venegas HL


Objective:To compare, landing mechanics and electromyographic activity of the lower extremities during side hopping and crossover hopping maneuvers, in noninjured women and women with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

Design:A case-control study.

Setting:A 3-dimensional motion analysis laboratory.

Participants:Twenty-eight young women (range, 21-35 years) (15 control subjects and 13 subjects with ACL reconstruction).

Patients and methods:All participants performed a side-to-side hopping task that consisted of hopping single-legged 10 times consecutively from side to side across 2 lines marked 30 cm apart on 2 individual force plates. The task was designated as a side hopping when the hop was to the opposite side of the stance leg and as crossover hopping when the hop was toward the side of the stance leg.

Main outcome measurements:Peak hip-/knee-joint angles; peak knee extension/abduction joint moments; electromyographic studies of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, rectus femoris, and hamstring muscles; and quadriceps/hamstring co-contraction ratio were compared between the groups by means of 2 × 2 multivariate analysis of variance tests (group × maneuver).

Results:Noninjured women and women with ACL reconstruction exhibited similar hip- and knee-joint angles during both types of hopping. Hip-joint angles were greater during the crossover hopping in both groups, and knee-joint angles did not differ between the groups or hops. Knee-joint moments demonstrated a significant group × maneuver interaction. Greater knee extension and valgus moments were noted in the control group during crossover hopping, and greater knee abduction moments were noted in the ACL group during side hopping. Electromyographic data revealed no statistically significantly differences between the groups.

Conclusions:Women with ACL reconstruction exhibited the restoration of functional biomechanical movements such as hip-/knee-joint angles and lower extremity neuromuscular activation during side-to-side athletic tasks. However, not all biomechanical strategies are restored years after surgery, and women who have undergone a procedure such as ACL reconstruction may continue to exhibit knee-joint abduction moments that increase the risk of additional knee injury.

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