This study was designed to compare biomechanical characteristics of the knee joint for several athletic tasks to elucidate their effects and to examine what tasks pose a risk for ACL injury. Three athletic tasks were performed by 24 female athletes: single-limb landing, plant and cutting, and both-limb jump landing. Angular displacements of flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, and external/internal tibial rotation were calculated. Angular excursion and the rate of excursion of abduction and internal tibial rotation were also calculated. During plant and cutting, from foot contact, subjects rotated the tibia more rapidly and to a greater degree toward internal tibial rotation. Moreover, excursion of knee abduction is greater than that during single-limb landing. During both-limb jump landing, the knee flexion at foot contact was greater than for either single-limb landing or plant and cutting; peak knee abduction was greater than for either single-limb landing or plant and cutting. In plant and cutting, the risk of ACL injury is increased by greater excursion and more rapid knee abduction than that which occurs in single-limb landing, in addition to greater internal tibial rotation. Although single-limb tasks apparently pose a greater risk for ACL injury than bilateral landings, both-limb landing with greater knee abduction might also risk ACL injury.
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