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Luigi Bertozzi, Rita Stagni, Silvia Fantozzi, and Angelo Cappello

The knowledge of how cruciate ligaments stabilize the knee joint could be very useful during the execution of daily living activities for the development of clinical procedures. The objective of this study was to evaluate a cruciate ligament model that could achieve this knowledge while avoiding any destructive measurements in living healthy subjects. Subject-specific geometries and kinematic data, acquired from a living subject, were the foundations of the devised model. Each cruciate ligament was modeled with 25 linear-elastic elements and their geometrical properties were subject specific. The anteroposterior drawer test was simulated, and the sensitivity to the reference length and the elastic modulus was performed. Laxity, anterior, and posterior stiffness were calculated and compared with the literature. The laxity was most sensitive to reference length but fitted the literature well considering the reference length estimated from the subject. Both stiffnesses were most sensitive to elastic modulus variations. At full extension, anterior stiffness overestimated the literature, but at 90° good comparisons with the literature were obtained. Posterior stiffness showed smaller overestimations. The devised model, when properly improved, could evaluate the role of the cruciate ligaments of a living subject during the execution of daily living activities.

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Simone Ciacci, Rocco Di Michele, Silvia Fantozzi, and Franco Merni

Context:

Kinematic asymmetry is believed to be associated with elevated risk for muscle injury, but little is known about the links between hamstring injuries and asymmetry of sprinting mechanics.

Objective:

To evaluate the value of kinematic analysis of sprinting for the detection of injury-related asymmetry in athletes with a history of hamstring strain.

Participants:

Six sub-elite male sprinters, including two who sustained a hamstring strain injury.

Outcome Measures:

Absolute differences between left and right symmetry indices and symmetry angles were both calculated for ground contact time and selected angular displacements. Measurements were acquired at foot strike, during the stance phase, and at toe-off.

Results:

At toe-off, injured athletes exhibited greater knee flexion and less hip extension for the injured extremity compared to the uninjured extremity. Symmetry indices for these variables markedly exceeded an established 15% threshold for clinically relevant asymmetry. Each of the uninjured athletes exhibited a high degree of symmetry for all parameters, with mean values for symmetry indices significantly lower than the 15% threshold (P < 0.05).

Conclusions:

Kinematic analysis of sprinting asymmetry appears to be valuable for identification of elevated risk for hamstring injury.