The purpose of this study was to estimate cruciate ligament forces in Alpine skiing during a movement that has been associated with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. Resultant knee joint forces and moments were obtained from two skiers during a World Cup Downhill race using an inverse dynamics approach and a 2-D bilaterally symmetric system model. It was found that ACL forces were typically small for both skiers throughout the movement analyzed because quadriceps forces prevented anterior displacement of the tibia relative to the femur at the knee joint angles observed. However, for about 10 ms, loading conditions in the knee joint of Subject 2 (who displayed poor form) were such that large ACL forces may have been present. These particular loading conditions were never observed in Subject 1, who displayed good form. Since neither of the skiers was injured, it is not possible to draw firm conclusions about isolated ACL tears in Alpine skiing from the data at hand.
Walter Herzog and Lynda Read are with the Human Performance Laboratory, Faculty of Physical Education, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4.