Biomechanical factors associated with the risk of knee injury when landing from a jump

  • Q Louw
  • K Grimmer


Objectives. To systematically assess the literature investigating biomechanical knee injury risk factors when an individual lands from a jump. Data sources. Four electronic databases were searched for peer-reviewed English journals containing landing biomechanical studies published over 14 years (1990 - 2003). Study selection. Publications describing research into knee joint kinetics and/or kinematics when landing from a jump were included. A total of 26 eligible articles met the inclusion criteria. Data extraction. A review of the 26 eligible studies was undertaken to describe the key study components including the study aims, sample populations, measurement tools, measurement procedures and knee risk factors. Methodological quality was scored using the Crombie Checklist and PEDro Scale. Data synthesis. The methodological quality of the studies reviewed was fair. Information on risk factors was variable. One proposed risk factor, landing with the knee in a relatively more extended position, may increase injury risk. Validity was compromised when the landing action was isolated by studying drop-jumping instead of the whole landing task. Results of reviewed studies were potentially confounded by a number of factors. Conclusion. High-level evidence for biomechanical knee injury risk factors when landing from a jump is lacking and it is difficult to draw conclusions regarding knee injury risk factors when landing. However, the published research reviewed provides important information on injury causality and theories to direct future studies. Further research should be directed towards younger populations using valid testing protocols applicable to real life scenarios.

South African Journal of Sports Medicine Vol. 18 (1) 2006: pp. 18-23

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2078-516X
print ISSN: 1015-5163