Timing of strain response of the ACL and MCL relative to impulse delivery during simulated landings leading up to ACL failure

Nathaniel A. Bates, Nathan D. Schilaty, Ryo Ueno, Timothy E. Hewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury videos estimate that rupture occurs within 50 milliseconds of initial contact, but are limited by imprecise timing and nondirect data acquisition. The objective of this study was to precisely quantify the timing associated with ligament strain during simulated landing and injury events. The hypotheses tested were that the timing of peak strain following initial contact would differ between ligaments and that peak strain timing would be independent of the injury-risk profile emulated during simulated landing. A mechanical impact simulator was used to perform landing simulations based on various injury-risk profiles that were applied to each specimen in a block-randomized order. The ACL and medial collateral ligament were instrumented with strain gauges that recorded continuously. The data from 35 lower-extremity specimens were included for analysis. Analysis of variance and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to determine the differences between timing and profiles. The mean time to peak strain was 53 (24) milliseconds for the ACL and 58 (35) milliseconds for the medial collateral ligament. The time to peak ACL strain ranged from 48 to 61 milliseconds, but the timing differences were not significant between profiles. Strain timing was independent of injury-risk profile. Noncontact ACL injuries are expected to occur between 0 and 61 milliseconds after initial contact. Both ligaments reached peak strain within the same time frame.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-155
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Biomechanics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020


  • Anterior cruciate ligament
  • Jump landing
  • Knee biomechanics
  • Ligament injury
  • Sports injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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