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Jeremy R. Dicus and Jeff G. Seegmiller

Few ankle inversion studies have taken anticipation bias into account or collected data with an experimental design that mimics actual injury mechanisms. Twenty-three participants performed randomized single-leg vertical drop landings from 20 cm. Subjects were blinded to the landing surface (a flat force plate or 30° inversion wedge on the force plate). After each trial, participants reported whether they anticipated the landing surface. Participant responses were validated with EMG data. The protocol was repeated until four anticipated and four unanticipated landings onto the inversion wedge were recorded. Results revealed a significant main effect for landing condition. Normalized vertical ground reaction force (% body weights), maximum ankle inversion (degrees), inversion velocity (degrees/second), and time from contact to peak muscle activation (seconds) were significantly greater in unanticipated landings, and the time from peak muscle activation to maximum VGRF (second) was shorter. Unanticipated landings presented different muscle activation patterns than landings onto anticipated surfaces, which calls into question the usefulness of clinical studies that have not controlled for anticipation bias.

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Louis A. DiBerardino III, Chantal A. Ragetly, Sungjin Hong, Dominique J. Griffon and Elizabeth T. Hsiao-Wecksler

The regions of deviation method has been proposed as a technique for identifying regions of the gait cycle where joint motion deviates from normal (Shorter et al., 2008). The original statistical analysis distinguished only peak values during stance and swing. In the current article, we extend the approach by examining deviations from normal throughout the entire gait cycle using pointwise t tests. These methods were demonstrated on hind-limb joint angles of 21 Labrador Retrievers without and with cranial cruciate ligament disease. Results were compared with peak difference analysis previously performed on these subjects. All points in the gait cycle where symmetry deviations were significantly affected by cranial cruciate ligament disease (via pointwise t tests) were defined as regions of deviation from symmetry. Discriminant function analysis was used to consider single subjects and validate that these regions were truly areas of difference between groups. Regions of deviation encompassed previously determined significant peak differences, while extending analysis to additional areas of asymmetry. Discriminant function analysis suggested that the region of deviation method is a viable approach for distinguishing motion pattern differences. This enhanced method may help researchers better understand the mechanisms behind lameness and compensation.

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Jaclyn B. Caccese, Thomas A. Buckley and Thomas W. Kaminski

The Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) is often used for sport-related concussion balance assessment. However, moderate intratester and intertester reliability may cause low initial sensitivity, suggesting that a more objective balance assessment method is needed. The MobileMat BESS was designed for objective BESS scoring, but the outcome measures must be validated with reliable balance measures. Thus, the purpose of this investigation was to compare MobileMat BESS scores to linear and nonlinear measures of balance. Eighty-eight healthy collegiate student-athletes (age: 20.0 ± 1.4 y, height: 177.7 ± 10.7 cm, mass: 74.8 ± 13.7 kg) completed the MobileMat BESS. MobileMat BESS scores were compared with 95% area, sway velocity, approximate entropy, and sample entropy. MobileMat BESS scores were significantly correlated with 95% area for single-leg (r = .332) and tandem firm (r = .474), and double-leg foam (r = .660); and with sway velocity for single-leg (r = .406) and tandem firm (r = .601), and double-leg (r = .575) and single-leg foam (r = .434). MobileMat BESS scores were not correlated with approximate or sample entropy. MobileMat BESS scores were low to moderately correlated with linear measures, suggesting the ability to identify changes in the center of mass–center of pressure relationship, but not higher-order processing associated with nonlinear measures. These results suggest that the MobileMat BESS may be a clinically-useful tool that provides objective linear balance measures.

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Steven Rowson, Jonathan G. Beckwith, Jeffrey J. Chu, Daniel S. Leonard, Richard M. Greenwald and Stefan M. Duma

The high incidence rate of concussions in football provides a unique opportunity to collect biomechanical data to characterize mild traumatic brain injury. The goal of this study was to validate a six degree of freedom (6DOF) measurement device with 12 single-axis accelerometers that uses a novel algorithm to compute linear and angular head accelerations for each axis of the head. The 6DOF device can be integrated into existing football helmets and is capable of wireless data transmission. A football helmet equipped with the 6DOF device was fitted to a Hybrid III head instrumented with a 9 accelerometer array. The helmet was impacted using a pneumatic linear impactor. Hybrid III head accelerations were compared with that of the 6DOF device. For all impacts, peak Hybrid III head accelerations ranged from 24 g to 176 g and 1,506 rad/s2 to 14,431 rad/s2. Average errors for peak linear and angular head acceleration were 1% ± 18% and 3% ± 24%, respectively. The average RMS error of the temporal response for each impact was 12.5 g and 907 rad/s2.

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Stefan C. Garcia, Jeffrey J. Dueweke and Christopher L. Mendias

Context: Manual isometric muscle testing is a common clinical technique used to assess muscle strength. To provide the most accurate data for the test, the muscle being assessed should be at a length in which it produces maximum force. However, there is tremendous variability in the recommended positions and joint angles used to conduct these tests, with few apparent objective data used to position the joint such that muscle-force production is greatest. Objective: To use validated anatomically and biomechanically based musculoskeletal models to identify the optimal joint positions in which to perform manual isometric testing. Design: In silico analysis. Main outcome measure: The joint position which produces maximum muscle force for 49 major limb and trunk muscles. Results: The optimal joint position for performing a manual isometric test was determined. Conclusion: Using objective anatomical models that take into account the force-length properties of muscles, the authors identified joint positions in which net muscle-force production was predicted to be maximal. This data can help health care providers to better assess muscle function when manual isometric strength tests are performed.

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Kyoung-Seok Yoo, Hyun-Kyung Kim and Jin-Hoon Park

The present study examined the technical characteristics of sliding performance from push-off until stone release in curling delivery. Five elite performance level curlers (> 7 years experience) and five subelite level curlers (< 3 years experience) were analyzed during the action of delivery of a curling stone. The joint angles, angular velocities, and moments of the body center of mass (COM) were determined based on three-dimensional kinematic data. The plantar pressure data were measured using a validated in-shoe system. The results indicated that the gliding time and horizontal velocity of the mass center of the body during the sliding phase were not significantly different between the elite and subelite groups. However, there were significant differences in the gliding distance and the rate of changes in velocity profiles of body COM between the two groups. The moment of the body COM from its relative position to the ankle of the support limb in the anterior/posterior direction was positive in elite curlers and negative in subelite curlers. In addition, larger ankle dorsiflexion and greater contact area of the sliding foot were observed in elite curlers. These data suggest a superior ability of elite curlers to maintain a regulated movement speed and balance control during the performance of a curling stone delivery.

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Francisco Javier Alonso, Publio Pintado and José María Del Castillo

The use of the Hodrick-Prescott (HP) filter is presented as an alternative to the traditional digital filtering and spline smoothing methods currently used in biomechanics. In econometrics, HP filtering is a standard tool used to decompose a macroeconomic time series into a nonstationary trend component and a stationary residual component. The use of the HP filter in the present work is based on reasonable assumptions about the jerk and noise components of the raw displacement signal. Its applicability was tested on 4 kinematic signals with different characteristics. Two are well known signals taken from the literature on biomechanical signal filtering, and the other two were acquired with our own motion capture system. The criterion for the selection of cutoff frequency was based on the power spectral density of the raw displacement signals. The results showed the technique to be well suited to filtering biomechanical displacement signals in order to obtain accurate higher derivatives in a simple and systematic way. Namely, the HP filter and the generalized cross-validated quintic spline (GCVSPL) produce similar RMS errors on the first (0.1063 vs. 0.1024 m/s2) and second (23.76 vs. 23.24 rad/s2) signals. The HP filter performs slightly better than GCVSPL on the third (0.209 vs. 0.236 m/s2) and fourth (1.596 vs. 2.315 m/s2) signals.

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Mario A. DiMattia, Ann L. Livengood, Tim L. Uhl, Carl G. Mattacola and Terry R. Malone

Context:

The Trendelenburg and single-leg-squat (SLS) tests are purported measures of hip-abduction strength that have not been previously validated.

Objective:

To correlate isometric hip-abduction strength to frontal-plane hip motion during an SLS and determine the criterion validity of a clinical-observation-analysis method to grade an SLS against 2-dimensional kinematic analysis.

Design:

Single-measure, concurrent validity.

Setting:

Biodynamics research laboratory.

Participants:

50 uninjured participants.

Main Outcome Measures:

Hip-abduction strength and hip and knee kinematic data during a Trendelenburg test and an SLS.

Results:

A weak, positive correlation between hip-abduction strength and hip-adduction angle was found during both the Trendelenburg (r = .22, P = .13) and the SLS (r = .21, P = .14) tests. The observation-analysis method revealed a low sensitivity, .23, and a higher specificity, .86, when compared with the kinematic data.

Conclusion:

The usefulness of the Trendelenburg and SLS test in screening hip-abductor strength in a healthy physically active population is limited. The origin of observable deficits during SLS requires further objective assessment.

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Benjamin W. Infantolino, Daniel J. Gales, Samantha L. Winter and John H. Challis

The purpose of this study was to validate ultrasound muscle volume estimation in vivo. To examine validity, vastus lateralis ultrasound images were collected from cadavers before muscle dissection; after dissection, the volumes were determined by hydrostatic weighing. Seven thighs from cadaver specimens were scanned using a 7.5-MHz ultrasound probe (SSD-1000, Aloka, Japan). The perimeter of the vastus lateralis was identified in the ultrasound images and manually digitized. Volumes were then estimated using the Cavalieri principle, by measuring the image areas of sets of parallel two-dimensional slices through the muscles. The muscles were then dissected from the cadavers, and muscle volume was determined via hydrostatic weighing. There was no statistically significant difference between the ultrasound estimation of muscle volume and that estimated using hydrostatic weighing (p > 0.05). The mean percentage error between the two volume estimates was 0.4% ± 6.9. Three operators all performed four digitizations of all images from one randomly selected muscle; there was no statistical difference between operators or trials and the intraclass correlation was high (>0.8). The results of this study indicate that ultrasound is an accurate method for estimating muscle volumes in vivo.

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Bernd J. Stetter, Erica Buckeridge, Vinzenz von Tscharner, Sandro R. Nigg and Benno M. Nigg

This study presents a new approach for automated identification of ice hockey skating strides and a method to detect ice contact and swing phases of individual strides by quantifying vibrations in 3D acceleration data during the blade–ice interaction. The strides of a 30-m forward sprinting task, performed by 6 ice hockey players, were evaluated using a 3D accelerometer fixed to a hockey skate. Synchronized plantar pressure data were recorded as reference data. To determine the accuracy of the new method on a range of forward stride patterns for temporal skating events, estimated contact times and stride times for a sequence of 5 consecutive strides was validated. Bland-Altman limits of agreement (95%) between accelerometer and plantar pressure derived data were less than 0.019 s. Mean differences between the 2 capture methods were shown to be less than 1 ms for contact and stride time. These results demonstrate the validity of the novel approach to determine strides, ice contact, and swing phases during ice hockey skating. This technology is accurate, simple, effective, and allows for in-field ice hockey testing.