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  • Leppänen, Mari; Parkkari, Jari; Vasankari, Tommi; Äyrämo, Sami; Kulmala, Juha-Pekka; Krosshaug, Tron; Kannus, Pekka; Pasanen, Kati (2021)
    Background: Studies investigating biomechanical risk factors for knee injuries in sport-specific tasks are needed. Purpose: To investigate the association between change of direction (COD) biomechanics in a 180-degree pivot turn and knee injury risk among youth team sport players. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 2. Methods: A total of 258 female and male basketball and floorball players (age range, 12-21 years) participated in the baseline COD test and follow-up. Complete data were obtained from 489 player-legs. Injuries, practice, and game exposure were registered for 12 months. The COD test consisted of a quick ball pass before and after a high-speed 180-degree pivot turn on the force plates. The following variables were analyzed: peak vertical ground-reaction force (N/kg); peak trunk lateral flexion angle (degree); peak knee flexion angle (degree); peak knee valgus angle (degree); peak knee flexion moment (N.m/kg); peak knee abduction moment (N.m/kg); and peak knee internal and external rotation moments (N.m/kg). Legs were analyzed separately and the mean of 3 trials was used in the analysis. Main outcome measure was a new acute noncontact knee injury. Results: A total of 18 new noncontact knee injuries were registered (0.3 injuries/1000 hours of exposure). Female players sustained 14 knee injuries and male players 4. A higher rate of knee injuries was observed in female players compared with male players (incidence rate ratio, 6.2; 95% CI, 2.1-21.7). Of all knee injuries, 8 were anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, all in female players. Female players displayed significantly larger peak knee valgus angles compared with male players (mean for female and male players, respectively: 13.9 degrees +/- 9.4 degrees and 2.0 degrees +/- 8.5 degrees). No significant associations between biomechanical variables and knee injury risk were found. Conclusion: Female players were at increased risk of knee and ACL injury compared with male players. Female players performed the 180-degree pivot turn with significantly larger knee valgus compared with male players. However, none of the investigated variables was associated with knee injury risk in youth basketball and floorball players.