Dancers with achilles tendinopathy demonstrate altered lower extremity takeoff kinematics.
STUDY DESIGN: Controlled laboratory study using a cross-sectional design. OBJECTIVES: To analyze lower extremity kinematics during takeoff of a "saut de chat" (leap) in dancers with and without a history of Achilles tendinopathy (AT). We hypothesized that dancers with AT would demonstrate different kinematic strategies compared to dancers without pathology, and that these differences would be prominent in the transverse and frontal planes. BACKGROUND: AT is a common injury experienced by dancers. Dance leaps such as the saut de chat place a large demand on the Achilles tendon. METHODS: Sixteen female dancers with and without a history of AT (mean ± SD age, 18.8 ± 1.2 years) participated. Three-dimensional kinematics at the hip, knee, and ankle were quantified for the takeoff of the saut de chat, using a motion analysis system. A force platform was used to determine braking and push-off phases of takeoff. Peak sagittal, frontal, and transverse plane joint positions during the braking and push-off phases of the takeoff were examined statistically. Independent samples t tests were used to evaluate group differences (α = .05). RESULTS: The dancers in the tendinopathy group demonstrated significantly higher peak hip adduction during the braking phase of takeoff (mean ± SD, 13.5° ± 6.1° versus 7.7° ± 4.2°; P = .046). During the push-off phase, dancers with AT demonstrated significantly more internal rotation at the knee (13.2° ± 5.2° versus 6.9° ± 4.9°; P = .024). CONCLUSION: Dancers with AT demonstrate increased peak transverse and frontal plane kinematics when performing the takeoff of a saut de chat. These larger displacements may be either causative or compensatory factors in the development of AT.
Kulig, K; Loudon, JK; Popovich, JM; Pollard, CD; Winder, BR
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