Association of Dynamic Knee Valgus and Bone Stress Injury in US Military Academy Cadets

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Jaimie V. Little Acute Rehabilitation Services, Mission Hospital, Asheville, NC, USA

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https://orcid.org/0009-0003-8616-5948 *
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Timothy G. Eckard Department of Physical Therapy, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC, USA

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8262-3604
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Lindsay J. DiStefano University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2796-8500
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Kenneth L. Cameron John A. Feagin Jr. Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship, Keller Army Hospital, West Point, NY, USA

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Stephen W. Marshall Department of Epidemiology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

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Darin A. Padua Department of Exercise and Sport Science, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

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Context: Early identification of incoming military personnel at elevated odds for bone stress injury (BSI) is important for the health and readiness of the US military. Design: Prospective cohort study. Methods: Knee kinematic data of the incoming US Military Academy cadets were collected while performing a jump-landing task (The Landing Error Scoring System) using a markerless motion capture system and depth camera. Data on incidence of lower-extremity injury, including BSI, were collected throughout the study period. Results: A total of 1905 participants (452 females, 23.7%) were examined for knee valgus and BSI status. A total of 50 BSI occurred during the study period (incidence proportion = 2.6%). The unadjusted odds ratio for BSI at initial contact was 1.03 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.94–1.14; P = .49). Adjusted for sex, the odds ratio for BSI at initial contact was 0.97 (95% CI, 0.87–1.06; P = .47). At the instant of maximum knee-flexion angle, the unadjusted odds ratio was 1.06 (95% CI, 1.02–1.10; P = .01), and the odds ratio was 1.02 (95% CI, 0.98–1.07; P = .29) after adjusting for sex. This suggests that there was not a significant enough association for an increase in the odds of BSI based on either degree of knee valgus. Conclusions: Our results did not demonstrate an association between knee valgus angle data during a jump-landing task and future increased odds of BSI in a military training population. Further analysis is warranted, but the results suggests the association between kinematics and BSI cannot be effectively screened by knee valgus angle data in isolation.

Using an automated markerless motion capture system, screening for dynamic kinematic variables during a jump-landing task can be an efficient assessment of future injury risk.

Our results did not demonstrate an association between knee valgus angle data during a jump-landing task and future increased odds of bone stress injury (BSI) in a military training population.

Further analysis of this relationship is warranted, but this suggests the relationship between kinematics and BSI cannot be effectively screened by knee valgus angle data in isolation.

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