Original articles| Volume 89, 105458, October 2021

Anterior knee pain independently alters landing and jumping biomechanics


      • Hypertonic saline caused experimental knee pain during a land and jump task.
      • This knee pain independently decreased landing vertical ground reaction forces.
      • Knee flexion angle and extension moment decreased due to the knee pain.
      • Hip flexion angle and extension moment increased due to the knee pain.


      Biomechanical effects of anterior knee pain are difficult to distinguish from effects of other factors also related to knee injury (e.g., joint effusion). The purpose of this study was to evaluate independent effects of anterior knee pain on landing and jumping biomechanics.
      Thirteen healthy participants performed a land and jump movement task, under three experimental conditions (pre-pain, pain, and post-pain), during one data collection session. One 1-ml injection of hypertonic saline into the infrapatellar fat pad was used to induce experimental anterior knee pain during the pain condition. Participant-perceived anterior knee pain was measured every 2 min throughout data collection. Landing and jumping biomechanics were measured and compared between the experimental conditions using a functional statistical approach.
      The aforementioned injection increased mean participant-perceived anterior knee pain, from zero during the pre-pain condition to 2.6 ± 0.71 cm during the pain condition. Vertical ground reaction force, knee flexion angle, and internal knee extension moment decreased by approximately 0.100 body weights, 3°, and 0.010 Nm/body weight × body height, respectively, between the pre-pain and pain conditions. Conversely, hip flexion angle and internal hip extension moment increased by approximately 3° and 0.006 Nm/body weight × body height, respectively, between the pre-pain and pain conditions. Several biomechanical changes persisted after anterior knee pain abatement (the post-pain condition).
      Anterior knee pain alters landing and jumping biomechanics, independent of other injury-related factors. These altered biomechanics likely change knee joint loading patterns and might increase risk for chronic knee joint injury and/or pathology.


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