Lower extremity kinematics whilst executing a cutting manoeuvre. A comparison between dominant and non-dominant legs. Implications for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Cutting manoeuvres have been associated biomechanically and clinically with of non-contact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. There is a disparity in ACL injury rates between dominant and non-dominant limbs. Currently there is a scarcity of research exclusively focusing on limb dominance and its effect upon the kinematics of the lower extremity. The purpose of this study was to quantify and compare the kinematics of the ankle, knee and hip joints of the dominant l and non-dominant leg during the stance phase of a cutting manoeuvre, specifically at touchdown (TD) and toe-off (TO). Four right foot dominant sports players of mean SD age 21.9 1 years, mass 72.3 9.5 kg and height 172.4 8.0 cm participated. Each participant performed five cutting maneouvres at random within a marked window of 30 to 60 using their dominant or non-dominant leg, totaling 10 trials per participant. To perform the cutting manoeuvre the participant jogged to the centrally marked cutting point and planted their cutting foot and made a maximal sprint into the cutting window of the assigned direction. A CODA (200 Hz) motion analysis system was used to collect and quantify the kinematics. Knee Flexion angles in the dominant leg were significantly less than those in the non-dominant leg at toe-off (TO) (p < 0.001). No statistically significant results were detected between knee abduction (valgus) angles during stance phase. The ankle in the non-dominant leg demonstrated a significantly smaller flexion strategy at both TD and TO (p < 0,001) and the hip of the non- dominant leg showed greater abduction at TD. The non-dominant limb had a smaller co-efficient of variance (CV%) for stance phase kinematics. The knee flexion angles in the dominant leg are more capable of causing ACL injury than those in the non-dominant leg. The significant differences seen between the ankle and the hip suggest that these movements play a protective role in the non-dominant leg, reducing the likelihood of ACL injury. These findings are of interest to coaches and athletes aiming to prevent ACL injury through the manipulation of technique by reducing the presence of injurious kinematics in the lower extremity. This could be achieved by having a greater equality between limbs, therefore losing the existence of a dominant limb.
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