Sex and Maturation Differences in Performance of Functional Jumping and Landing Deficits in Youth Athletes

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Understanding how neuromuscular and biomechanical deficits that are associated with knee injuries change as youth mature may improve injury prevention strategies in this population. Objective: To investigate sex and maturation differences in jump-landing technique performance in youths using a practical clinical tool. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: High Performance Center Laboratory. Participants: A total of 165 youth athletes were included in this study. Main Outcome Measures: The main outcome measures were each of the 10 items of the modified tuck jump assessment and the total score. These measures include (1) knee valgus at landing, (2) thighs do not reach parallel, (3) thighs not equal side to side, (4) foot placement not shoulder width apart, (5) foot placement not parallel, (6) foot contact timing not equal, (7) excessive landing contact noise, (8) pause between jumps, (9) technique declines prior to 10 seconds, and (10) does not land in same footprint. Results: Only knee valgus at landing had a significant sex × maturation interaction. The main effect of maturation was significant for items 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, and total score. Plyometric technique performance improved with increasing maturation. The main effect of sex was significant for items 1 and 9, with males performing better than females. Conclusions: Female athletes demonstrate increased knee valgus at landing and fatigue relative to males during jump-landing performance. Overall, there was a trend of improved jump-landing performance with maturation.

Fort-Vanmeerhaeghe, Benet, and Miradaare are with the Blanquerna Faculty of Psychology, Education Sciences, and Sport (FPCEE), Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain. Montalvo is with the Department of Athletic Training, Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL; and also with Athletic Training/Sports Medicine Program, Department of Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. Myer is with the Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH; the Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH; Sports Medicine, Sports Health and Performance Institute, The Ohio State University Medical Center, the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; and the Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention, Waltham, MA.

Fort-Vanmeerhaeghe (afortvan@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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