Multicenter trial of motion analysis for injury risk prediction: Lessons learned from prospective longitudinal large cohort combined biomechanical - epidemiological studies

Timothy Hewett, Benjamin Roewer, Kevin Ford, Greg Myer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Our biodynamics laboratory group has conducted large cohort biomechanical-epidemiological studies targeted at identifying the complex interactions among biomechanical, biological, hormonal, and psychosocial factors that lead to increased risk of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. The findings from our studies have revealed highly sensitive and specific predictors for ACL injury. Despite the high incidence of ACL injuries among young athletes, larger cohorts are needed to reveal the underlying mechanistic causes of increased risk for ACL injury. In the current study, we have outlined key factors that contribute to the overall success of multicenter, biomechanical-epidemiological investigations designed to test a larger number of athletes who otherwise could not be recruited, screened, or tested at a single institution. Twenty-five female volleyball players were recruited from a single high school team and tested at three biodynamics laboratories. All athletes underwent three-dimensional motion capture analysis of a drop vertical jump task. Kinematic and kinetic variables were compared within and among laboratories. Reliability of peak kinematic variables was consistently rated good-to-excellent. Reliability of peak kinetic variables was consistently rated goodto-excellent within sites, but greater variability was observed between sites. Variables measured in the sagittal plane were typically more reliable than variables measured in the coronal and transverse planes. This study documents the reliability of biomechanical variables that are key to identification of ACL injury mechanisms and of athletes at high risk. These findings indicate the feasibility of executing multicenter, biomechanical investigations that can yield more robust, reliable, and generalizable findings across larger cohorts of athletes

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-409
Number of pages12
JournalBrazilian Journal of Physical Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015



  • ACL
  • Adolescents
  • Drop vertical jump
  • Knee injuries
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation

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