A new study seeks to pinpoint foot-landing techniques that could potentially cause anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. The study reportedly evaluated two foot-landing techniques and their effects upon lower extremity biomechanics while performing two tasks.

Researchers observed 20 female soccer athletes from a Division I institution perform two foot-landing techniques; forefoot and rearfoot. According to the study, participants engaged in two unanticipated tasks; sidestep cutting and pivot. Researchers explain that during  the study, they measured the variance in kinematic and kinetic parameters between landing techniques for each task.

The study indicates that the forefoot landing technique exhibited higher internal knee adductor moment than the rearfoot for both the pivot and sidestep cutting task.  Participants who utilized the sidestep cutting task, displayed increased knee valgus angle with the rearfoot, contrast to the pivot in which knee valgus was increased by the forefoot landing technique.

Researchers say the study’s results emphasize the differences in biomechanical outcomes between foot-landing techniques. The study also highlights the forefoot landing technique’s risk potential for ACL injury, as it affects knee adduction moment loading and can potentially place high strain on the ACL. 

Ultimately, researchers say, the effects of foot-landing techniques on lower extremity biomechanics are dependent upon the task an individual engages in.

Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information