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J Biomech. 2012 May 11;45(8):1491-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2012.02.010. Epub 2012 Mar 3.

Optimizing whole-body kinematics to minimize valgus knee loading during sidestepping: implications for ACL injury risk.

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School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, The University of Western Australia, Australia.


The kinematic mechanisms associated with elevated externally applied valgus knee moments during non-contact sidestepping and subsequent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury risk are not well understood. To address this issue, the residual reduction algorithm (RRA) in OpenSim was used to create nine subject-specific, full-body (37 degrees of freedom) torque-driven simulations of athletic males performing unplanned sidestep (UnSS) sport tasks. The RRA was used again to produce an optimized kinematic solution with reduced peak valgus knee torques during the weight acceptance phase of stance. Pre-to-post kinematic optimization, mean peak valgus knee moments were significantly reduced by 44.2 Nm (p=0.045). Nine of a possible 37 upper and lower body kinematic changes in all three planes of motion were consistently used during the RRA to decrease peak valgus knee moments. The generalized kinematic strategy used by all nine simulations to reduce peak valgus knee moments and subsequent ACL injury risk during UnSS was to redirect the whole-body center of mass medially, towards the desired direction of travel.

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