Background: Altered motor control strategies in landing and jumping maneuvers are a potential mechanism of noncontact anterior cruciate ligament injury. There are biomechanical differences between male and female athletes in the landing phase of stop-jump tasks. Fatigue is a risk factor in musculoskeletal injuries.
Hypothesis: Lower extremity muscle fatigue alters the knee kinetics and kinematics during the landing phase of 3 stop-jump tasks and increases an athlete's risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Study design: Controlled laboratory study.
Methods: Three-dimensional videography and force plate data were collected for 20 recreational athletes (10 male and 10 female athletes) performing 3 stop-jump tasks before and after completing a fatigue exercise. Knee joint angles and resultant forces and moments were calculated.
Results: Both male and female subjects had significantly increased peak proximal tibial anterior shear forces (P = .01), increased valgus moments (P = .03), and decreased knee flexion angles (P = .03) during landings of all 3 stop-jump tasks when fatigued. Fatigue did not significantly affect the peak knee extension moment for male or female athletes.
Conclusion: Fatigued recreational athletes demonstrate altered motor control strategies, which may increase anterior tibial shear force, strain on the anterior cruciate ligament, and risk of injury for both female and male subjects. CLINIC RELEVANCE: Fatigued athletes may have an increased risk of noncontact anterior cruciate ligament injury.