Knee Biomechanics During a Jump-Cut Maneuver: Effects of Sex and ACL Surgery

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013 May;45(5):942-51. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31827bf0e4.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare kinetic and knee kinematic measurements from male and female anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)-intact (ACLINT) and ACL-reconstructed (ACLREC) subjects during a jump-cut maneuver using biplanar videoradiography.

Methods: Twenty subjects were recruited; 10 ACLINT (5 men and 5 women) and 10 ACLREC (4 men and 6 women, 5 yr postsurgery). Each subject performed a jump-cut maneuver by landing on a single leg and performing a 45° side-step cut. Ground reaction force (GRF) was measured by a force plate and expressed relative to body weight. Six-degree-of-freedom knee kinematics were determined from a biplanar videoradiography system and an optical motion capture system.

Results: ACLINT female subjects landed with a larger peak vertical GRF (P < 0.001) compared with ACLINT male subjects. ACLINT subjects landed with a larger peak vertical GRF (P ≤ 0.036) compared with ACLREC subjects. Regardless of ACL reconstruction status, female subjects underwent less knee flexion angle excursion (P = 0.002) and had an increased average rate of anterior tibial translation (0.05%·ms ± 0.01%·ms, P = 0.037) after contact compared with male subjects. Furthermore, ACLREC subjects had a lower rate of anterior tibial translation compared with ACLINT subjects (0.05%·ms ± 0.01%·ms, P = 0.035). Finally, no striking differences were observed in other knee motion parameters.

Conclusion: Women permit a smaller amount of knee flexion angle excursion during a jump-cut maneuver, resulting in a larger peak vertical GRF and increased rate of anterior tibial translation. Notably, ACLREC subjects also perform the jump cut maneuver with lower GRF than ACLINT subjects 5 yr postsurgery. This study proposes a causal sequence whereby increased landing stiffness (larger peak vertical GRF combined with less knee flexion angle excursion) leads to an increased rate of anterior tibial translation while performing a jump-cut maneuver.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Knee Injuries / physiopathology
  • Knee Joint / physiology*
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Tibia / physiology
  • Tibia / physiopathology
  • Young Adult