Effect of landing height on frontal plane kinematics, kinetics and energy dissipation at lower extremity joints.J Biomech. 2009 Aug 25; 42(12):1967-73.JB
Lack of the necessary magnitude of energy dissipation by lower extremity joint muscles may be implicated in elevated impact stresses present during landing from greater heights. These increased stresses are experienced by supporting tissues like cartilage, ligaments and bones, thus aggravating injury risk. This study sought to investigate frontal plane kinematics, kinetics and energetics of lower extremity joints during landing from different heights. Eighteen male recreational athletes were instructed to perform drop-landing tasks from 0.3- to 0.6-m heights. Force plates and motion-capture system were used to capture ground reaction force and kinematics data, respectively. Joint moment was calculated using inverse dynamics. Joint power was computed as a product of joint moment and angular velocity. Work was defined as joint power integrated over time. Hip and knee joints delivered significantly greater joint power and eccentric work (p<0.05) than the ankle joint at both landing heights. Substantial increase (p<0.05) in eccentric work was noted at the hip joint in response to increasing landing height. Knee and hip joints acted as key contributors to total energy dissipation in the frontal plane with increase in peak ground reaction force (GRF). The hip joint was the top contributor to energy absorption, which indicated a hip-dominant strategy in the frontal plane in response to peak GRF during landing. Future studies should investigate joint motions that can maximize energy dissipation or reduce the need for energy dissipation in the frontal plane at the various joints, and to evaluate their effects on the attenuation of lower extremity injury risk during landing.