The role of proximal dynamic joint stability in the development of exertional medial tibial pain

This study was conducted with the objective of prospectively determining risk factors contributing to the development of exertional medial tibial pain (EMTP). They prospectively collected data on healthy female students in physical education, who were freshmen in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. Eighty-six female students aged 19.38±0.85 years, were tested at the beginning of their first academic year. Kinematic parameters in the frontal and transverse plane were measured during a single-leg drop jump (SLDJ). For further analysis, the SLDJ task was divided in two phases: touchdown until maximal knee flexion (MKF) and then MKF until take-off, representing landing and push-off phase, respectively. The post-injury assessment of the students employed a weekly online questionnaire and a 3-monthly retrospective control questionnaire. EMTP was diagnosed by an experienced medical doctor. Cox regression analysis was used to identify the possible risk factors for the development of EMTP. During injury follow-up (1-2 years), 22 participants were diagnosed with EMTP. Their results from this study identified that increased range of motion (ROM) in the transverse plane of hip and thorax during landing (p=0.010 and 0.026, respectively) and during push off (p=0.019 and 0.045, respectively) are predictive parameters for the development of EMTP in women.

The study concluded that greater ROM values of hip and thorax in the transverse plane, which can be interpreted as compromised ability to maintain dynamic joint stability resulting in increased accessory movements, are substantial contributors to the development of EMTP in women.