The vertical drop jump is a poor screening test for ACL injuries in female elite soccer and handball players : a prospective cohort study of 710 athletes

Tron KROSSHAUG*, Kathrin STEFFEN, Eirik KRISTIANSLUND, Agnethe NILSTAD, Kam-Ming MOK, Grethe MYKLEBUST, Thor Einar ANDERSEN, Ingar HOLME, Lars ENGEBRETSEN, Roald BAHR

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

87 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background:
The evidence linking knee kinematics and kinetics during a vertical drop jump (VDJ) to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury risk is restricted to a single small sample. Still, the VDJ test continues to be advocated for clinical screening purposes.

Purpose:
To test whether 5 selected kinematic and kinetic variables were associated with future ACL injuries in a large cohort of Norwegian female elite soccer and handball players. Furthermore, we wanted to assess whether the VDJ test can be recommended as a screening test to identify players with increased risk.

Study Design:
Cohort study; Level of evidence, 2.

Methods:
Elite female soccer and handball players participated in preseason screening tests from 2007 through 2014. The tests included marker-based 3-dimensional motion analysis of a drop-jump landing. We followed a predefined statistical protocol in which we included the following candidate risk factors in 5 separate logistic regression analyses, with new ACL injury as the outcome: (1) knee valgus angle at initial contact, (2) peak knee abduction moment, (3) peak knee flexion angle, (4) peak vertical ground-reaction force, and (5) medial knee displacement.

Results:
A total of 782 players were tested (age, 21 ± 4 years; height, 170 ± 7 cm; body mass, 67 ± 8 kg), of which 710 were included in the analyses. We registered 42 new noncontact ACL injuries, including 12 in previously ACL-injured players. Previous ACL injury (relative risk, 3.8; 95% CI, 2.1-7.1) and medial knee displacement (odds ratio, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.12-1.74 per 1-SD change) were associated with increased risk for injury. However, among the 643 players without previous injury, we found no association with medial knee displacement. A receiver operating characteristic curve analysis of medial knee displacement showed an area under the curve of 0.6, indicating a poor-to-failed combined sensitivity and specificity of the test, even when including previously injured players.

Conclusion:
Of the 5 risk factors considered, medial knee displacement was the only factor associated with increased risk for ACL. However, receiver operating characteristic curve analysis indicated a poor combined sensitivity and specificity when medial knee displacement was used as a screening test for predicting ACL injury. For players with no previous injury, none of the VDJ variables were associated with increased injury risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)874-883
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume44
Issue number4
Early online date11 Feb 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • female
  • handball
  • soccer
  • football
  • anterior cruciate ligament
  • biomechanics
  • screening
  • vertical drop jump

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