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Noah X. Tocci, David R. Howell, Dai Sugimoto, Corey Dawkins, Amy Whited and Donald Bae

High elbow torque during a pitch may contribute to injury risk. Our objective was to determine the pitch mechanics associated with elbow varus torque in youth baseball pitchers. Eighteen male youth pitchers (age = 15.5 ± 1.6 years) threw 3 fastballs and 3 change-ups from a windup position while undergoing 3-dimensional kinematic analysis. Independent variables included ball release point distance, stride length, lateral pelvic tilt, and ball velocity. Two multiple regression models, separated by pitch type (fastball, change-up) were used to determine the association of independent variables with peak varus torque at the elbow. Fastball and change-up regression models indicated that stride length (β = 0.301, p = .015; β = 0.46, p < .001, respectively) and lateral pelvic tilt (β = −0.50, p < .001; β = −0.25, p = .04, respectively) were significantly associated with peak elbow varus torque. During fastballs, pitch velocity was significantly associated with peak elbow varus torque (β = 0.38, p = .002), while release point distance was significantly associated with peak elbow varus torque during change-ups (β = −0.33, p = .015). Youth pitchers with longer strides and less lateral pelvic tilt demonstrated greater elbow torque regardless of pitch type, while the association of ball velocity and release point to elbow varus torque was dependent on pitch type.

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Dai Sugimoto, Jessica C. LeBlanc, Sarah E. Wooley, Lyle J. Micheli and Dennis E. Kramer

It is estimated that approximately 350,000 individuals undergo anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery in each year in the US. Although ACL-reconstruction surgery and postoperative rehabilitation are successfully completed, deficits in postural control remain prevalent in ACL-reconstructed individuals. In order to assist the lack of balance ability and reduce the risk of retear of the reconstructed ACL, physicians often provide a functional knee brace on the patients’ return to physical activity. However, it is not known whether use of the functional knee brace enhances knee-joint position sense in individuals with ACL reconstruction. Thus, the effect of a functional knee brace on knee-joint position sense in an ACL-reconstructed population needs be critically appraised. After systematically review of previously published literature, 3 studies that investigated the effect of a functional knee brace in ACL-reconstructed individuals using joint-position-sense measures were found. They were rated as level 2b evidence in the Centre of Evidence Based Medicine Level of Evidence chart. Synthesis of the reviewed studies indicated inconsistent evidence of a functional knee brace on joint-position improvement after ACL reconstruction. More research is needed to provide sufficient evidence on the effect of a functional knee brace on joint-position sense after ACL reconstruction. Future studies need to measure joint-position sense in closed-kinetic-chain fashion since ACL injury usually occurs under weight-bearing conditions.

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Dai Sugimoto, Benton E. Heyworth, Brandon A. Yates, Dennis E. Kramer, Mininder S. Kocher and Lyle J. Micheli

Context: To treat anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, ACL reconstruction (ACLR) surgery is currently a standard of the care. However, effect of graft type including bone–patellar tendon–bone (BTB), hamstring tendon, or iliotibial band (ITB) on thigh size, knee range of motion (ROM), and muscle strength are understudied. Objective : To compare postoperative thigh circumference, knee ROM, and hip and thigh muscle strength in adolescent males who underwent ACLR, based on the 3 different autograft types: BTB, hamstring (HS), and ITB. Setting: Biomechanical laboratory. Participants: Male ACLR patients who are younger than 22 years of age (total N = 164). Intervention: At 6- to 9-month postoperative visits, thigh circumference, knee ROM, and hip and thigh muscle strength were measured. Main Outcome Measures: Deficits of each variable between the uninvolved and ACLR limb were compared for pediatric and adolescent ACLR males in the BTB, HS, and ITB cohorts. Baseline characteristics, including physical demographics and meniscus tear status, were compared, and differences identified were treated as covariates and incorporated in analysis of covariance. Results: Data were from 164 adolescent male ACLR patients [mean age 15.7 (1.2) years]. There were no statistical differences in thigh circumference, knee ROM, hip abductor, and hip-extensor strength among the 3 autografts. However, patients with BTB demonstrated 12.2% deficits in quadriceps strength compared with 0.5% surplus in HS patients (P = .002) and 1.2% deficits in ITB patients (P = .03). Patients with HS showed 31.7% deficits in hamstring strength compared with 5.4% deficits in BTB (P = .001) and 7.7% deficits in ITB (P = .001) groups at 6- to 9-month postoperative visits. Conclusion: Adolescent male ACLR patients with BTB and HS autografts demonstrated significant deficits in quadriceps and hamstring strength, respectively, at 6 to 9 months postoperatively. Minimal lower-extremity strength deficits were demonstrated in pediatric male ACLR patients undergoing ITB harvest.

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Dai Sugimoto, Benton E. Heyworth, Jeff J. Brodeur, Dennis E. Kramer, Mininder S. Kocher and Lyle J. Micheli

Context: Recent epidemiology studies indicated a steady increase of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in young athletes. ACL reconstruction (ACLR) is currently a standard of care, but the effect of ACLR graft including bone patellar tendon bone (BTB), hamstring tendon (HT), or iliotibial band (ITB) on balance and hop performance is understudied. Objective: To compare balance and hop deficits between uninvolved and reconstructed limbs in each autograft type (aim 1) and among the 3 autograft groups (aim 2). Setting: Biomechanical laboratory. Participants: Male ACLR patients who are younger than 22 years (total N = 160; BTB: N = 19, HT: N = 108, ITB: N = 33). Intervention: Approximately 6 to 9 months following ACLR, Y-balance and 4 types of hop tests were measured bilaterally. Main Outcome Measures: Limb symmetry index of balance and hop tests within each graft type and between the 3 graft types. Results: In the BTB group, significant anterior reach, single hop, triple hops, and cross-over hops deficits were observed on the ACLR limb compared with the uninvolved limb. The HT group showed significant deficits in single hop, triple hops, and cross-over hops on the ACLR limb relative to the uninvolved limb. Compared with the uninvolved limb, significantly decreased triple hops and 6-m timed hop deficits in the ACLR limb were recorded in the ITB group. When controlling for confounders and comparing among the 3 autograft types, the only significant difference was anterior reach, in which the BTB group showed significant deficits. Conclusion: Compared with the uninvolved limb, significant hop deficits in ACLR limb were prevalent among adolescent ACLR at ∼6 to 9 months postoperatively. After controlling covariates, significantly reduced anterior reach balance was found in the BTB group compared with the HT and ITB groups.

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Gregory D. Myer, Nathaniel A. Bates, Christopher A. DiCesare, Kim D. Barber Foss, Staci M. Thomas, Samuel C. Wordeman, Dai Sugimoto, Benjamin D. Roewer, Jennifer M. Medina McKeon, Stephanie L. Di Stasi, Brian W. Noehren, Michael McNally, Kevin R. Ford, Adam W. Kiefer and Timothy E. Hewett

Context:

Due to the limitations of single-center studies in achieving appropriate sampling with relatively rare disorders, multicenter collaborations have been proposed to achieve desired sampling levels. However, documented reliability of biomechanical data is necessary for multicenter injury-prevention studies and is currently unavailable.

Objective:

To measure the reliability of 3-dimensional (3D) biomechanical waveforms from kinetic and kinematic variables during a single-leg landing (SLL) performed at 3 separate testing facilities.

Design:

Multicenter reliability study.

Setting:

3 laboratories.

Patients:

25 female junior varsity and varsity high school volleyball players who visited each facility over a 1-mo period.

Intervention:

Subjects were instrumented with 43 reflective markers to record 3D motion as they performed SLLs. During the SLL the athlete balanced on 1 leg, dropped down off of a 31-cm-high box, and landed on the same leg. Kinematic and kinetic data from both legs were processed from 2 trials across the 3 laboratories.

Main Outcome Measures:

Coefficients of multiple correlations (CMC) were used to statistically compare each joint angle and moment waveform for the first 500 ms of landing.

Results:

Average CMC for lower-extremity sagittal-plane motion was excellent between laboratories (hip .98, knee .95, ankle .99). Average CMC for lower-extremity frontal-plane motion was also excellent between laboratories (hip .98, knee .80, ankle .93). Kinetic waveforms were repeatable in each plane of rotation (3-center mean CMC ≥.71), while knee sagittal-plane moments were the most consistent measure across sites (3-center mean CMC ≥.94).

Conclusions:

CMC waveform comparisons were similar relative to the joint measured to previously published reports of between-sessions reliability of sagittal- and frontal-plane biomechanics performed at a single institution. Continued research is needed to further standardize technology and methods to help ensure that highly reliable results can be achieved with multicenter biomechanical screening models.