, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 88-93
Date: 21 May 2005

Effects of changes in skiing posture on the kinetics of the knee joint

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Abstract

This study was performed to investigate the effects of changes in the skiing posture on mechanical stress across the knee joint. The aim of the present study was to establish a safer form of skiing for the prevention of injury to the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee (ACL). Ten healthy volunteers were placed on a force plate on an artificial slope, and assumed forward and backward bending postures with a single leg by changing their centre of gravity. The knee flexion angles were limited to approximately 30° by orthotics in each posture. Joint moments of the lower extremity were analyzed using a motion analysis system, and the muscle activities of the lower extremity were recorded by EMG and digitised to integrated EMG in each posture. In addition, extrusion of the lower leg by the boot was measured using a force sensor sheet inserted behind the calf. We found that the extension moment of the hip and ankle joints, and muscular activity of the hamstrings were increased in forward bending, whereas the extension moment of the knee and muscular activity of the quadriceps were decreased. Conversely, the muscular activity of the quadriceps, the flexion moment of the hip, extension moment of the knee joint, and pressure of the boot were increased in backward bending, whereas muscular activity of the hamstrings was decreased. The dependency on the hamstrings increased in forward bending in a skiing posture on a slope with slight knee flexion. Therefore, forward bending seemed to be an advantageous posture for the prevention of ACL injury. Conversely, in a backward bending skiing posture, the extension moment of the knee joint produced by muscle contraction of the quadriceps also increased imbalance in the hamstrings. The results of this study suggest that the internal force exerted by the quadriceps, in addition to the passive factor of extrusion of the lower leg by the boot, may contribute to non-contact ACL injury in a backward bending posture while skiing.