Effects of limited previously acquired information about falling height on lower limb biomechanics when individuals are landing with limited visual input


Background

Inhibitions in the acquisition of accurate information about the environment can affect
control of the lower extremities and lead to anterior cruciate ligament injury. This
study aimed to clarify the effects of limited prior knowledge of the height of the
fall, as well as limited visual input, on lower limb and trunk motion and ground reaction
force during landing.

Methods

Twenty healthy university students were recruited. Drop landings from a 30-cm platform
were measured under three conditions: (1) unknown, without prior knowledge of the
height of the fall and without visual input; (2) known, with prior knowledge of the
height of the fall and without visual input; and (3) control, with prior knowledge
of the height of the fall and visual input.

Findings

In the unknown condition, the peak ground reaction force for the vertical and posterior
directions was significantly higher than that in the known and control conditions;
leg and knee stiffness, ankle joint work, and joint flexion motion of the knee, ankle,
and trunk after landing were decreased as well. In the known condition, there were
no significant differences in leg and knee stiffness and vertical ground reaction
force compared to the control condition.

Interpretation

The results of this study indicate that the risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury
during landing increases when individuals have limited visual input and prior knowledge
of the height of the fall. This finding suggests that an accurate perception of the
surrounding environment may help prevent anterior cruciate ligament injuries.



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