Background Current jump-landing protocols have identified impairments in dynamic stability in recreational individuals, but have not elicited differences in high-level athletes.
Objective To develop a new jump-landing protocol to identify differences in dynamic stability in high-level athletes.
Design Case-control study.
Setting Movement Analysis Lab.
Participants 61 Division-I collegiate athletes (32 females, 29 males; age = 19.9 ± 1.2 years; height = 76.6 ± 9.5 cm; body mass = 74.1 ± 0.8 kg) were separated into healthy, coper, and unstable groups based on the Cumberland Ankle Instability Tool and their ankle injury history.
Interventions Two jumping tasks from the forward and lateral directions were executed barefooted onto the force plate. For the forward jump, participants took two preparatory steps, jumped to 50% of their maximum vertical jump, and landed single-legged on the force plate. For the lateral jump, participants took two side-shuffle steps and jumped to 50% of their maximum vertical jump, again landing single-legged on the force plate. All participants were instructed to stabilise as quickly as possible and remain motionless for 5 s. Three trials were collected for each jump in a randomised order.
Main outcome measurements ROC curves were utilised to compare the accuracy of this jump landing protocol to differentiate time-to-stability (TTS) measures among groups.
Results Asymptotic significance were detected between the healthy and unstable groups (forward: p = 0.001, AUC: 0.800; lateral: p = 0.011, AUC: 0.739), as well as the coper and unstable groups (forward: p = 0.013, AUC: 0.732; lateral: p = 0.015, AUC: 0.728). The healthy and coper groups had similar TTS scores (forward: p = 0.328, AUC: 0.407; lateral: p = 0.907, AUC: 0.489).
Conclusions This jump-landing protocol accurately detects differences in TTS among the healthy, coper, and unstable groups of high-level athletes. Previous jump-landing protocols identified poor stability measures in the unstable group of recreational individuals, but not of high-level athletes. Perhaps, this new jump-landing protocol better taxes the sensorimotor system of high-level athletes, giving clinicians the ability to identify those at risk of injury and implement interventions to reduce these risks.