Comparing kinematic asymmetry and lateral step-down test scores in healthy, chronic ankle instability, and patellofemoral pain syndrome female basketball players: a cross-sectional study

Sci Rep. 2023 Jul 31;13(1):12412. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-39625-1.


We aimed to understand whether ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM) and dynamic knee valgus (DKV) kinematic inter-limb asymmetries would be associated with the Lateral Step-Down Test (LSD) in basketball players with chronic ankle instability (CAI), patellofemoral pain (PFP) and healthy controls (HC). An observational cross-sectional study with a between-subject design was employed. Female basketball athletes with CAI (n = 20), PFP (n = 20) and HC (n = 20) were recruited. Ankle dorsiflexion-ROM, DKV angle during a single-limb squat, and LSD quality were measured bilaterally. The Asymmetry index (ASI) was calculated to identify between-limb percentage imbalances. The correlation matrix between the tasks was calculated. Ankle dorsiflexion-ROM was less in the CAI and PFP than in the HC group regardless of limb (p < 0.001). DKV angle was greater in the CAI and PFP than in the HC group bilaterally (p < 0.001). LSDs were similar between the PFP and CAI groups (p = 0.698) but worse than the HC group (p = 0.001). The ASI showed asymmetry across all tasks (p < 0.001), with the greatest asymmetry for the DKV angle. The correlation matrix between tasks on both limbs was significant (p < 0.05). Our findings suggest significant asymmetries in ankle dorsiflexion-ROM and frontal plane knee control are present in female basketball athletes with CAI and PFP, and thus, highlights need to evaluate and reduce limb asymmetries in these populations.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Ankle
  • Ankle Joint
  • Basketball*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome*
  • Range of Motion, Articular