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Method to Identify Female Athletes at a High Risk for Knee Injury Discovered
Date:10/1/2009

Study first of its kind to specify muscle activation pattern to determine risk for ACL rupture

Rosemont, IL (Vocus) October 1, 2009 -- A new study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine (AJSM) found screening the knee muscles of a noninjuried female athlete with electromyography (EMG) technology can determine if they are at a high risk for an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture.

"An ACL injury for a female athlete doesn't just affect them at the moment of injury; a high percentage of female athletes who suffer an ACL injury experience long-term consequences such as osteoarthritis and disability. This is unacceptable," says lead author, Mette K. Zebis, PhD, at the Institute of Sports Medicine Copenhagen and the Danish National Research Centre for the Working Environment. "Our research aimed to evaluate the possible use of EMG recording as a tool for ACL injury risk screening. If we can identify those at risk for the injury, we can help prevent it."

EMG analysis can be used to evaluate neuromuscular activity in specific muscles during sports specific movements. The study utilized the technology to screen 55 noninjuried female athletes while they performed a standardized side-cutting maneuver. A side-cutting maneuver is used to "fake" the defensive player to one direction while the athlete moves in the opposite direction. The side-cutting maneuver was selected because this maneuver is highly common during a game, and a large number of non-contact ACL injuries appear to occur in this situation. Of the 55 athletes studied, five had lower EMG signals in the medial hamstring muscle on the back of their thigh and higher activity in t their quadriceps muscle. Those same five athletes experienced
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