Background: Risk for non-contact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury can be assessed based on drop vertical jump (DVJ). However, biomechanics of DVJ should differ with type of various sporting activities. The purpose of the present study was to clarify whether biomechanical features of DVJ are different among various sporting activities in female athletes.
Methods: A total of 42 female athletes, including 25 basketball, 8 soccer and 9 volleyball players, participated in the current investigation. DVJ was done for each female athlete using a three-dimensional motion analysis system which consisted of six cameras, two force plates and 46 retro-reflective markers. Kinematic and kinetic data were recorded for both limbs in each athlete. Simultaneously, frontal and sagittal plane views of the DVJ were recorded using high-resolution two different video cameras to evaluate Landing Error Scoring System (LESS) score. Three-dimensional biomechanical parameters at the knee joint and LESS were compared among three different sporting activities.
Results: Soccer players had better LESS score, compared to basketball players, while no significantly differences were found between basketball and volleyball players in LESS. In addition, peak knee flexion angle was significantly larger, and knee abduction angle at initial contact (IC), peak knee abduction angle, knee internal rotation angle, and knee abduction moment within 40 milliseconds from IC were significantly smaller in soccer players, compared to basketball players. There were no significantly differences between basketball and volleyball players in all biomechanical parameters.
Conclusions: From the present study, female basketball and volleyball players have worse LESS score, greater knee abduction angle and moment, compared to female soccer players. Thus, female basketball and volleyball players are likely to have the increased risk of non-contact ACL injury during DVJ, compared to soccer players. DVJ may be useless as a screening tool of non-contact ACL injury for soccer players. Biomechanics of DVJ depends on characteristics of the athlete's primary sport.