Trunk and Lower Extremity Movement Patterns, Stress Fracture Risk Factors, and Biomarkers of Bone Turnover in Military Trainees.

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Faculty Learning Innovation Collaboration and Research

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Journal of athletic training

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CONTEXT: Military service members commonly sustain lower extremity stress fractures (SFx). How SFx risk factors influence bone metabolism is unknown. Understanding how SFx risk factors influence bone metabolism may help to optimize risk-mitigation strategies.

OBJECTIVE: To determine how SFx risk factors influence bone metabolism.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING: Military service academy.

PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Forty-five men (agepre = 18.56 ± 1.39 years, heightpre = 176.95 ± 7.29 cm, masspre = 77.20 ± 9.40 kg; body mass indexpre = 24.68 ± 2.87) who completed Cadet Basic Training (CBT). Individuals with neurologic or metabolic disorders were excluded.

INTERVENTION(S): We assessed SFx risk factors (independent variables) with (1) the Landing Error Scoring System (LESS), (2) self-reported injury and physical activity questionnaires, and (3) physical fitness tests. We assessed bone biomarkers (dependent variables; procollagen type I amino-terminal propeptide [PINP] and cross-linked collagen telopeptide [CTx-1]) via serum.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): A markerless motion-capture system was used to analyze trunk and lower extremity biomechanics via the LESS. Serum samples were collected post-CBT; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays determined PINP and CTx-1 concentrations, and PINP : CTx-1 ratios were calculated. Linear regression models demonstrated associations between SFx risk factors and PINP and CTx-1 concentrations and PINP : CTx-1 ratio. Biomarker concentration mean differences with 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Significance was set a priori using α ≤ .10 for simple and α ≤ .05 for multiple regression analyses.

RESULTS: The multiple regression models incorporating LESS and SFx risk factor data predicted the PINP concentration (R2 = 0.47, P = .02) and PINP : CTx-1 ratio (R2 = 0.66, P = .01). The PINP concentration was increased by foot internal rotation, trunk flexion, CBT injury, sit-up score, and pre- to post-CBT mass changes. The CTx-1 concentration was increased by heel-to-toe landing and post-CBT mass. The PINP : CTx-1 ratio was increased by foot internal rotation, lower extremity sagittal-plane displacement (inversely), CBT injury, sit-up score, and pre- to post-CBT mass changes.

CONCLUSIONS: Stress fracture risk factors accounted for 66% of the PINP : CTx-1 ratio variability, a potential surrogate for bone health. Our findings provide insight into how SFx risk factors influence bone health. This information can help guide SFx risk-mitigation strategies.

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