2018 Volume 21 Issue 2 Pages 44-52
Background: Neurocognitive function may be a risk factor for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury by changing neuromuscular control such as muscle activities. However, the effect of differences in neurocognitive function on biomechanics and neuromuscular control related to ACL injury risk is not clear. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of differences in neurocognitive function on biomechanics and neuromuscular control during an unanticipated side-step cutting motion. Method: The subjects were 15 collegiate female athletes who were divided into two groups using the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT). The experimental task was an unanticipated side-step cutting motion from a 30 cm high box. We calculated joint angles and moments using a 3-dimensional motion analysis system from the dominant leg, and measured muscle activities using a surface electromyography. We calculated the co-contraction ratio (CCR) as relative muscle activity of the quadriceps to the hamstring. Results: As a result, subjects with a lower SDMT score had significantly increased quadriceps activity before and after ground contact and decreased CCR only after ground contact. Conclusion: In the lower SDMT score group, the quadriceps showed stronger muscle activity than the hamstring during an unanticipated side-step cutting motion. This dominant quadriceps muscle activity has been reported to increase the load on the ACL, and there was a possibility of increasing the risk of the ACL injury. Considering these factors, subjects with lower neurocognitive function could have a high risk of ACL injury due to alterations in muscle activities surrounding the knee.