Lower-Extremity Energy Absorption During Side-Step Maneuvers in Females With Knee Valgus Alignment

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Excessive knee valgus on landing can cause anterior cruciate ligament injury. Therefore, knee valgus alignment may show characteristic energy absorption patterns during landings with lateral movement that impose greater impact forces on the knee joint compared with landings in other alignments. Objective: To investigate the energy absorption strategy in lower-extremities during side steps in females with knee valgus alignment. Design: Controlled laboratory study. Setting: University research laboratory. Participants: A total of 34 female college students participated in this experiment. Interventions: Participants performed single-leg drop vertical jump and side steps. All participants were divided into valgus (n = 13), neutral (n = 9), and varus (n = 12) groups according to knee position during landing in single-leg drop vertical jumps. Main Outcome Measures: Lower-extremity joint angles, moments, and negative works were calculated during landing in side steps, and 1-way analysis of variance and post hoc tests were used to determine between-group differences. Results: Negative works of hip extensors, knee abductors, and ankle plantar flexors during landing in side steps were significantly smaller in the valgus than in the varus group; however, negative work of the knee extensors was significantly greater in the valgus group than in varus group. Conclusions: The findings of this study indicated that landing with knee valgus induced the characteristic energy absorption strategy in the lower-extremity. Knee extensors contributed more to energy absorption when landing in knee valgus than in knee varus alignment. Learning to land in knee varus alignment might reduce the impact on the knee joint by increasing the energy absorption capacities of hip extensors, knee abductors, and ankle plantar flexors.

Tamura is with the Dept of Physical Therapy, School of Health Sciences at Narita, International University of Health and Welfare, Narita, Chiba, Japan. Akasaka, and Otsudo are with the Graduate School of Medicine, Saitama Medical University, Moroyama, Saitama, Japan. Akasaka and Otsudo are also with the School of Physical Therapy, Saitama Medical University, Moroyama, Saitama, Japan.

Akasaka (akasaka-smc@umin.ac.jp) is corresponding author.
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