The incidence of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury remains high, and there is a need for simple, cost effective methods to identify athletes at a higher risk for ACL injury. Wearable measurement systems offer potential methods to assess the risk of ACL injury during jumping tasks. The objective of this study was to assess the capacity of a wearable inertial-based system to evaluate ACL injury risk during jumping tasks. The system accuracy for measuring temporal events (initial contact, toe-off), jump height, and sagittal plane angles (knee, trunk) was assessed by comparing results obtained with the wearable system to simultaneous measurements obtained with a marker-based optoelectronic reference system. Thirty-eight healthy participants (20 male and 18 female) performed drop jumps with bilateral and unilateral support landing. The mean differences between the temporal events obtained with both systems were below 5 ms, and the precisions were below 24 ms. The mean jump heights measured with both systems differed by less than 1 mm, and the associations (Pearson correlation coefficients) were above 0.9. For the discrete angle parameters, there was an average association of 0.91 and precision of 3.5° for the knee flexion angle and an association of 0.77 and precision of 5.5° for the trunk lean. The results based on the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) also demonstrated that the proposed wearable system could identify movements at higher risk for ACL injury. The area under the ROC plots was between 0.89 and 0.99 for the knee flexion angle and between 0.83 and 0.95 for the trunk lean. The wearable system demonstrated good concurrent validity with marker-based measurements and good discriminative performance in terms of the known risk factors for ACL injury. This study suggests that a wearable system could be a simple cost-effective tool for conducting risk screening or for providing focused feedback.

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