October 2013

Altered landings suggest link between neurocognitive scores, ACL injury risk

In the moment: Knee

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Female athletes with low neurocognitive scores are more likely than those with higher scores to demonstrate altered landing mechanics consistent with elevated anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury risk, according to findings that could have implications for concussion management.

Investigators from the University of Florida in Gainesville screened 58 female college-aged recreational athletes using the Concussion Resolution Index neurocognitive test. They then assessed landing kinematics and kinetics in the 10 participants with the highest scores and the 10 with the lowest scores.

Low-scoring athletes had significantly increased ground reaction force, peak anterior proximal tibial shear force, knee abduction angle, and trunk lateral flexion angle at landing, as well as significantly decreased trunk forward flexion angle at landing.

The results, presented in September at the annual ASB meeting, support the same group’s previous finding of a higher rate of lower extremity injury in collegiate athletes with a recent history of concussion.


Herman D, Barth J. Jump landing biomechanics differ in female athletes with high vs low baseline neurocognitive performance: Implications for anterior cruciate ligament injury risk. Presented at the American Society of Biomechanics 2013 Annual Meeting, Omaha, NE, September 2013.

Herman D, Jones D, Harrison A, et al. Concussion increases the risk of subsequent lower extremity musculoskeletal injury in collegiate athletes. Pre- sented at the 2013 American Medical Society for Sports Medicine conference, San Diego, April 2013.

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