Biomechanical and neurocognitive risk factors associated with anterior cruciate ligament injuries

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2022-05
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Saadat, Shekoofe
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Gillette, Jason
Derrick, Timothy
Smiley, Ann
Mirka, Gary
Dorneich, Michael
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Altmetrics
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Kinesiology
Abstract
Previous research has identified mechanisms associated with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, yet injury rates remain high. The goal of these three studies was to further the understanding of ACL injury by investigating effects of entry angles, single vs. double leg landings, dual tasking, and neurocognitive function on the biomechanics of directional jump landings. A camera-based system and force platforms were utilized to measure body movements and ground reaction forces. The results of study one indicated that jump landings with lateral entry angles increased ACL injury risk by significantly increasing knee valgus angles and moments, while decreasing knee flexion angles. The results of study two indicated that presentation of visual stimuli mid-flight increased ACL injury risk during jump landings with lateral exit angles by significantly increasing knee valgus angles and moments, while decreasing knee flexion angles. The results of study three indicated that single-leg landings increased ACL injury risk by significantly increasing knee valgus and decreasing knee flexion angles. In addition, visual stimuli presented mid-flight further increased ACL injury risk factors by significantly increasing vertical and posterior ground reaction forces. Across the last two studies, participants decreased performance by significantly increasing stance time during reactive movements, potentially as a protective response to prevent injury. In conclusion, situations requiring rapid decision making and ignoring irrelevant stimuli increased ACL injury risk factors and decreased performance levels. We recommend considering neurocognitive function when assessing ACL injury risk and practicing directional jump landing situations that require rapid decision making for training and rehabilitation purposes.
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