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J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2004 Aug;86-A(8):1601-8.

Decrease in neuromuscular control about the knee with maturation in female athletes.

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Cincinnati Children's Sports Medicine Biodynamics Center, 3333 Burnet Avenue, MLC 10001, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, USA.



Compared with male athletes, female athletes demonstrate increased dynamic valgus angulation of the knee during landing from a jump, although prior to maturation male and female athletes have similar forces and motions about the knee when they land from a jump. Our hypothesis was that musculoskeletal changes that accompany maturation result in poor neuromuscular control of the knee joint in female athletes.


One hundred and eighty-one middle-school and high-school soccer and basketball players-100 girls and eighty-one boys-participated in the study. Dynamic control of the knee joint was measured kinematically by assessing medial knee motion and the lower-extremity valgus angle and was measured kinetically by assessing knee joint torques; the values were then compared between female and male athletes according to maturational stage. Lower-extremity bone length was measured with three-dimensional kinematic analysis.


Following the onset of maturation, the female athletes landed with greater total medial motion of the knees and a greater maximum lower-extremity valgus angle than did the male athletes. The girls also demonstrated decreased flexor torques compared with the boys as well as a significant difference between the maximum valgus angles of their dominant and nondominant lower extremities after maturation.


After girls mature, they land from a jump differently than do boys, as measured kinematically and kinetically.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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