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Context: Single-leg hopping is used to assess a dynamic knee stability. Patellofemoral pain is often experienced during these exercises, and different cadences of jumping are often used in rehabilitation for those with patellofemoral pain. No studies to date have examined patellofemoral joint loading during single-leg hopping exercise with different hopping cadences. Objective: To determine if single-leg hopping at 2 different cadences (50 and 100 hops per minute [HPM]) leads to a significant difference in patellofemoral joint loading variables. Setting: University research laboratory. Participants: Twenty-five healthy college-aged females (age 22.3 [1.8] y, height 171.4 [6.3] cm, weight 67.4 [9.5] kg, Tegner Activity Scale 4.75 [1.75]) participated. Main Outcome Measures: Three-dimensional kinematic and kinetic data were measured using a 15-camera motion capture system and force platform. Static optimization was used to calculate muscle forces and then used in a musculoskeletal model to determine patellofemoral joint stress (PFJS), patellofemoral joint reaction force (PFJRF), quadriceps force (QF), and PFJRF loading rate, during the first and last 50% of stance phase. Results: Greater maximal PFJRF occurred at 100 HPM, whereas greater PFJRF loading rate occurred at 50 HPM. However, overall peak QF and peak PFJS were not different between the 2 cadences. At 50 HPM, there was greater PFJS, PFJRF, peak PFJRF loading rate, and peak QF during the first 50% of stance when compared with the last 50%. Conclusion: Training at 50 HPM may reduce PFJRF and PFJRF loading rate, but not PFJS or QF. Patellofemoral joint loading variables had significantly higher values during the first half of the stance phase at the 50 HPM cadence. This may be important with training individuals with patellofemoral pain.

The authors are with the Department of Health Professions, Physical Therapy Program, La Crosse Institute for Movement Science, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI.

Kernozek (kernozek.thom@uwlax.edu) is corresponding author.
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