Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center

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Information about project titled 'How does cutting technique influence ACL injury risk and performance in players with and without previous injury? – a cluster analysis'

How does cutting technique influence ACL injury risk and performance in players with and without previous injury? – a cluster analysis

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Project status: Ongoing
Project manager: Lasse Mausehund
Supervisor(s): Tron Krosshaug, Sami Äyrämö


Background: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries have a high incidence in female elite ball/team sport and cause serious short- and long-term consequences. These injuries typically occur during single-leg landings or cutting maneuvers, which is why such movements should be in the center of research attention.

Aim: The purpose of this study is 1) to identify the most commonly used cutting technique clusters, based on ten pre-defined variables, 2) to investigate the proportion of players with or without a previous and with or without a new ACL injury during follow-up in each cluster, 3) to investigate the cutting performance associated with the identified technique clusters.

Methods: 751 female elite handball and football players performed sport-specific cutting tasks while 3D kinematics and kinetics were measured. ACL injuries were registered prospectively over a follow-up period of 8 years. During the follow up period 74 players sustained an ACL injury. In this study, sidestep cutting technique will be described using ten pre-defined kinematic variables at initial contact. We will apply cluster analysis (unsupervised classification) methodology to determine a set of different cutting techniques with biomechanically different characteristics. By investigating the proportions of players with previous ACL injury and/or a new ACL injury during follow-up in the different clusters, we will get an understanding of the risk associated with different movement strategies, depending on injury status at baseline. Importantly, we cannot expect elite teams to adopt interventions that may hamper performance. Hence, it is essential to investigate not only the injury, but also the performance aspect of cutting technique. Ideally, we can identify clusters with high performance and low injury risk.

Implications: Gaining new insights into the injury etiology of ACL injuries can help us to develop effective injury prevention strategies. Considering the serious short- and long-term consequences of ACL injuries, lowering the injury incidence is of major importance for both the athlete, the team and society.