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  • Author: Hayley M. Ericksen x
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Hayley M. Ericksen, Brian Pietrosimone, Phillip A. Gribble and Abbey C. Thomas

Context: Feedback is an important factor in interventions designed to reduce anterior cruciate ligament injury risk. Self-analysis feedback requires participants to self-critique their jump-landing mechanics; however, it is unknown if individuals can effectively self-analyze their own biomechanics and if this self-analysis agrees with observed biomechanical changes by an expert. Objective: To determine agreement between an expert and participants on biomechanical errors committed during 3 of 12 sessions, which were part of an intervention to change jump-landing biomechanics in healthy females. Design: Descriptive analysis. Setting: Research laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Healthy recreationally active females with no history of lower-extremity fracture or surgery. Interventions: Participants completed a 4-week, 12-session feedback intervention. Each intervention session lasted approximately 15 minutes and included asking participants to perform 6 sets of 6 jumps off a 30-cm-high box placed 50% of their height away from the target landing area. Participants performed self-analysis feedback and received expert feedback on 7 different jump-landing criteria following each set of jumps. Main Outcome Measures: Data were coded, and agreement between the expert and the participant was assessed using Cohen’s unweighted kappa for sessions 1, 6, and 12. Results: There was agreement between the expert and participants for 0/7 criteria for session 1, 3/7 criteria for session 6, and 4/7 criteria for session 12. Conclusions: Participants demonstrated some agreement with the expert when evaluating their jump-landing biomechanics. Self-analysis feedback may not replace what an expert can provide; both types of feedback may be better used in conjunction to produce significant biomechanical changes. Changes made by the participant may not translate into biomechanical changes during a real-life game or practice situation. Future research should continue to investigate effective interventions to reduce injury risk.

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Brian G. Pietrosimone, Adam S. Lepley, Hayley M. Ericksen, Phillip A. Gribble and Jason Levine

Background:

Disability is common in a proportion of patients after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACL-R). Neuromuscular quadriceps deficits are a hallmark impairment after ACL-R, yet the link between muscle function and disability is not understood.

Purposes:

To evaluate the ability of quadriceps strength and cortical excitability to predict self-reported disability in patients with ACL-R.

Methods:

Fifteen participants with a history of ACL-R (11 female, 4 male; 172 ± 9.8 cm, 70.4 ± 17.5 kg, 54.4 ± 40.9 mo postsurgery) were included in this study. Corticospinal excitability was assessed using active motor thresholds (AMT), while strength was assessed with maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC). Both voluntary strength and corticospinal excitability were used to predict disability measured with the International Knee Documentation Committee Index (IKDC).

Results:

The overall multiple-regression model significantly predicted 66% of the variance in self-reported disability as measured by the IKDC index (R 2 = .66, P = .01). Initial imputation of MVIC into the model accounted for 61% (R 2 = .61, P = .01) of the variance in IKDC. The subsequent addition of AMT into the model accounted for an insignificant increase of 5% (Δ R 2 = .05, P = .19) in the prediction capability of the model.

Conclusions:

Quadriceps voluntary strength and cortical excitability predicted two-thirds of the variance in disability of patients with ACL-R, with strength accounting for virtually all of the predictive capability of the model.

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Adam S. Lepley, Allison M. Strouse, Hayley M. Ericksen, Kate R. Pfile, Phillip A. Gribble and Brian G. Pietrosimone

Context:

Components of gluteal neuromuscular function, such as strength and corticospinal excitability, could potentially influence alterations in lower extremity biomechanics during jump landing.

Objective:

To determine the relationship between gluteal muscle strength, gluteal corticospinal excitability, and jump-landing biomechanics in healthy women.

Setting:

University laboratory.

Design:

Descriptive laboratory study.

Participants:

37 healthy women (21.08 ± 2.15 y, 164.8 ± 5.9 cm, 65.4 ± 12.0 kg).

Interventions:

Bilateral gluteal strength was assessed through maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC) using an isokinetic dynamometer. Strength was tested in the open chain in prone and side-lying positions for the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius muscles, respectively. Transcranial magnetic stimulation was used to elicit measures of corticospinal excitability. Participants then performed 3 trials of jump landing from a 30-cm box to a distance of 50% of their height, with an immediate rebound to a maximal vertical jump. Each jump-landing trial was video recorded (2-D) and later scored for errors.

Main Outcome Measures:

MVICs normalized to body mass were used to assess strength in the gluteal muscles of the dominant and nondominant limbs. Corticospinal excitability was assessed by means of active motor threshold (AMT) and motor-evoked potentials (MEP) elicited at 120% of AMT. The Landing Error Scoring System (LESS) was used to evaluate jump-landing biomechanics.

Results:

A moderate, positive correlation was found between dominant gluteus maximus MEP and LESS scores (r = .562, P = .029). No other significant correlations were observed for MVIC, AMT, or MEP for the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius, regardless of limb.

Conclusions:

The findings suggest a moderate relationship between dominant gluteus maximus corticospinal excitability and a clinical measure of jump-landing biomechanics. Further research is required to substantiate the findings and expand our understanding of the central nervous system’s role in athletic movement.

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Hayley M. Ericksen, Caitlin Lefevre, Brittney A. Luc-Harkey, Abbey C. Thomas, Phillip A. Gribble and Brian Pietrosimone

Context: High vertical ground reaction force (vGRF) when initiating ground contact during jump landing is one biomechanical factor that may increase risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury. Intervention programs have been developed to decrease vGRF to reduce injury risk, yet generating high forces is still critical for performing dynamic activities such as a vertical jump task. Objective: To evaluate if a jump-landing feedback intervention, cueing a decrease in vGRF, would impair vertical jump performance in a separate task (Vertmax). Design: Randomized controlled trial. Patients (or Other Participants): Forty-eight recreationally active females (feedback: n = 31; 19.63 [1.54] y, 1.6 [0.08] cm, 58.13 [7.84] kg and control: n = 15; 19.6 [1.68] y, 1.64 [0.05] cm, 60.11 [8.36] kg) participated in this study. Intervention: Peak vGRF during a jump landing and Vertmax were recorded at baseline and 4 weeks post. The feedback group participated in 12 sessions over the 4-week period consisting of feedback provided for 6 sets of 6 jumps off a 30-cm box. The control group was instructed to return to the lab 28 days following the baseline measurements. Main Outcome Measures: Change scores (postbaseline) were calculated for peak vGRF and Vertmax. Group differences were evaluated for peak vGRF and Vertmax using a Mann–Whitney U test (P < .05). Results: There were no significant differences between groups at baseline (P > .05). The feedback group (−0.5 [0.3] N/kg) demonstrated a greater decrease in vGRF compared with the control group (0.01 [0.3] N/kg) (t(46) = −5.52, P < .001). There were no significant differences in change in Vertmax between groups (feedback = 0.9 [2.2] cm, control = 0.06 [2.1] cm; t(46) = 0.46, P = .64). Conclusions: While the feedback intervention was effective in decreasing vGRF when landing from a jump, these participants did not demonstrate changes in vertical jump performance when assessed during a different task. Practitioners should consider implementing feedback intervention programs to reduce peak vGRF, without worry of diminished vertical jump performance.