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Dynamic valgus during drop landing results in decreased lateral plantar pressure

Introduction Anterior ruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are highly debilitating and commonly occur in sporting activities involving sudden stops and change of directon. Following ACL reconstruction (ACL-R) re-injury rates to the ipsilateral or contralateral knee are as high as 31%. Movement asymmetries such as increased dynamic valgus at the knee during sport-specific tasks such as the box drop vertical jump test (DVJ) are associated with ACL rupture and persist following ACL-R. These aberrant movement patterns place high demands on the ACL, increasing the likelihood of re-injury threefold. Such patters are modifiable; therefore detecting asymmetries during sport-specific tasks is crucial for determining at-risk individual.

Clinically, identifying lower limb movement anomalies using semi quantitative two dimensional (2D) video recodring or 3D analysis is time consuming and impractical for most settings. Detecting plantar pressure is quick and affordable, making it clinically feasible. Faulty kinematic responses during the DVJ have a large frontal plane component; therefore similar medial-lateral pressure shifts likely occur during dynamic valgus.

The purpose of this proof-of concept pilot study was to explore the plantar pressure response to three different landing strategies during the DVJ. We hypothesized that healthy subjects demonstrate higher lateral plantar pressures during hip-abducted landing, while demonstrating lower lateral pressures during hip adducted landing.

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