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7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Annual Assembly of the German and the Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

26.-29.10.2011, Salzburg, Austria

Knee joint kinematics during a sidestep maneuver in handball: Study of the influence of gender

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Edouard Falcoz - Department Of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Regional University Hospital, Brest, France
  • author Mathieu Lempereur - Human Motion Laboratory, Regional University Hospital, Brest, France
  • author Christophe Guegan - Center of Sports Medicine, Brest, France
  • author Olivier Remy-Neris - Department Of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Regional University Hospital, Brest, France

7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Salzburg, 26.-29.10.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2011. Doc11esm062

doi: 10.3205/11esm062, urn:nbn:de:0183-11esm0628

Published: October 24, 2011

© 2011 Falcoz et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear is a common injury in handball with a risk 3–5 times higher among women [1]. Despite surgery, the consequences of this injury are severe and the return-to-sport activity unsecured [2]. To progress in understanding the rupture mechanism and prevention, biomechanical studies must now analyse more realistic sports movements which are at risk of ACL tear [3]. The sidestep maneuver is a specific technique movement in handball with a change of direction. It is also the main circumstance of ACL injury in this sport [4]. The purpose of this study was to describe and compare, across gender, knee kinematics and angular displacement of the whole body during this specific handball technique maneuver. The null hypothesis was no difference across gender in the axial rotations of the pivot knee during the stance phase.

Material/Methods: Fifteen females and fourteen males, all good level handball players, executed the same specifique sidestep maneuver. All athletes performed their technique gesture as they used to do in game or practice situation. All were trained to practice this maneuver in their federal handball structure. Spatio-temporal data and kinematics of the pivot knee, ipsilateral foot and hip, pelvis and trunk were calculated using a 3D motion analysis system Vicon. A Mann-Witney test was used to compare data.

Results: The analysed gesture was highly reproducible despite the absence of constraint. At initial contact, men had a higher instantaneous speed. The duration of the stance phase was similar. No gender significant difference was found in the axial rotation of the knee during the pivoting stance phase. At initial contact, women exhibited less knee flexion and more knee valgus. The pelvis rotation was also different with men more turned to the change of direction trajectory. Gender differences were also found during the first part of the stance phase in knee frontal plane and in the hip transverse plane.

Conclusion: kinematic analysis of a technical gesture is possible and reproducible when it is made without constraints. During this specific handball sidestep manoeuver, the observed knee postures suggest an increased ACL injury risk at initial contact in women. A prevention work could be proposed to decrease the risk. Relationships between knee and hip seem important.


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