Gender Differences in Hip Joint Kinematics and Kinetics During Side-Step Cutting Maneuver

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Objective:Based on the recent suggestion that proximal hip control may be related to a predisposition to anterior cruciate ligament injury, our purpose was to identify gender differences in hip mechanics between female athletes who previously demonstrated greater knee valgus moments and their male counterparts.Design:Descriptive laboratory study.Setting:Testing was conducted in a biomechanics research laboratory.Participants:Thirty collegiate soccer players (15 women and 15 men) participated in this study. All subjects were healthy with no current complaints of lower extremity injury.Main Outcome Measurements:Three-dimensional hip joint kinematics and kinetics were collected while subjects performed a side-step cutting maneuver. Gender differences in hip mechanics were compared using independent sample t tests.Results:Compared with male athletes, female athletes demonstrated significantly greater hip internal rotation and decreased hip flexion. In addition, female athletes demonstrated significantly greater hip adductor moments as well as decreased hip extensor moments.Conclusion:Overall, it appeared that female athletes moved into greater hip internal rotation and used less sagittal plane hip motion during the early deceleration phase of the cutting maneuver. The findings of this investigation support the premise that altered hip kinematics and kinetics may influence loading at the knee. Future studies are needed to further explore the impact of these differences on knee loading and to ascertain the underlying causes.

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