Decision Making Influences Tibial Impact Accelerations During Lateral Cutting

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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Lower-extremity musculoskeletal injuries are common in sports such as basketball and soccer. Athletes competing in sports of this nature must maneuver in response to the actions of their teammates, opponents, etc. This limits their ability to preplan movements. The purpose of this study was to compare impact accelerations during preplanned versus unplanned lateral cutting. A total of 30 subjects (15 males and 15 females) performed preplanned and unplanned cuts while the authors analyzed impact accelerations using an accelerometer secured to their tibia. For the preplanned condition, subjects were aware of the movement to perform before initiating a trial. For the unplanned condition, subjects initiated their movement and then reacted to the illumination of one of 3 visual stimuli which dictated whether they would cut, land, or land-and-jump. A mixed-model analysis of variance with a between factor of sex (male and female) and a within factor of condition (preplanned and unplanned) was used to analyze the magnitude and variability of the impact accelerations for the cutting trials. Both males and females demonstrated higher impact accelerations (P = .01) and a trend toward greater intertrial variability (P = .07) for the unplanned cutting trials (vs preplanned cuts). Unplanned cutting may place greater demands on the musculoskeletal system.

Lucas, England, Mason, Lanning, Miller, and Almonroeder are with the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Rinker-Ross School of Health Sciences, Trine University, Fort Wayne, IN, USA. Morgan is with the Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA.

Almonroeder (almonroedert@trine.edu) is corresponding author.
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