Background: Risk for non-contact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury can be assessed based on drop vertical jump (DVJ). However, biomechanics of DVJ may differ with various sporting activities. The purpose of the present study was to clarify whether biomechanical features of DVJ are different among various sporting activities in female athletes. Methods: A total of 42 female athletes, including 25 basketball, 8 soccer and 9 volleyball players, participated in the current investigation. DVJ was done for each female athlete using a three-dimensional motion analysis system which consisted of six cameras, two force plates and 46 retro-reflective markers. Kinematic and kinetic data were recorded for both limbs in each athlete. Simultaneously, frontal and sagittal plane views of the DVJ were recorded using two different high-resolution video cameras to evaluate Landing Error Scoring System (LESS) score. Three-dimensional biomechanical parameters at the knee joint and LESS were compared among three different sporting activities using ANOVA or Kruskal–Wallis test after confirming normality assumption. Thereafter post hoc Tukey or Steel–Dwass was utilized for multiple comparison. Results: Soccer players had better LESS score, and peak knee flexion angle was significantly larger in soccer players compared to the other sports. In addition, knee abduction angle at initial contact (IC), peak knee abduction angle, knee internal rotation angle, and knee abduction moment within 40 ms from IC were significantly smaller in soccer players, compared to basketball players. In terms of volleyball players, knee abduction angle at IC and knee internal rotation angle at IC were significantly larger than soccer players, whereas no significant biomechanical differences were found between basketball and volleyball players. Conclusions: From the present study, female basketball and volleyball players have worse LESS score, smaller peak knee flexion angle, greater knee abduction angle at IC and greater knee internal rotation angle at IC, compared to female soccer players. Thus, female basketball and volleyball players may have an increased risk of non-contact ACL injury during the jump-landing task, compared to soccer players. Biomechanics of DVJ depends on characteristics of the athlete's primary sport.
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