Stress Management: Landing Mechanics Predict Stress Fracture Risk

September 09, 2013

Researchers from the Keller Army Hospital in West Point, NY, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Connecticut in Storrs, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD, looked at data from the Joint Undertaking to Monitor and Prevent ACL Injury (JUMP-ACL) cohort, a prospective cohort study of military cadets who underwent detailed motion analysis during a jump-landing task at the beginning of each individual’s military career.

Individuals who developed stress fractures had less knee and hip flexion, primarily at the midpoint of the stance phase during the jump-landing task, compared to uninjured individuals. Those with stress fractures also had higher peak vertical ground reaction forces, which researchers said may be due to the reduced motion at the knee and hip.

Additionally, the researchers found that stress fractures occurred nearly three times more often in female participants than in their male counterparts. According to researchers, this is consistent with published incidence values that are two to 10 times higher for women.

The study suggests that injury prevention programs could target the relevant biomechanical factors, specifically increasing knee flexion and extension strength, increasing knee and hip flexion, and limiting knock-knee position and internal rotation. For women, increasing hip external rotation strength may also be important.


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