Vail Health Magazine 2013 - page 48

By Jim Brown
Hockey Study at Vail’s Steadman
Philippon Research Institute May Lead to
Fewer Injuries in Young Athletes
A goaltender performing a butterfly movement while wearing standard pads and reflective
markers: (A) depicts the ready stance (B) depicts the landing and illustrates how the left
leg lands with the knee and foot over the force plates (C) depicts the motion capture
output in the ready stance and (D) depicts the motion capture output at the landing.
At the SteadmanPhilippon
Research Institute (SPRI), the
researchers’ work has real-life
applications. Using sophisticated
research methods, they’re inves-
tigating ways to reduce injuries
in the high-impact, physically
demanding sport of ice hockey.
More than 75 percent of
hockey injuries are the result of
an impact with another player
or with the boards that surround
a rink. Collisions can cause,
among other things, concussions,
knee and ankle sprains, and
shoulder injuries.
Other injuries occur without
any impact, otherwise known as
non-contact injuries. Movements
that are routine in skating, shoot-
ing, checking and goaltending
might place the body in positions
that make the player vulnerable.
Until now, relatively little has
been known about the biome-
chanics associated with hockey
movements and their relationship
to hockey injuries.
Hip Injuries
Hip injuries are a particular concern
and have been reported to account
for 18.2 percent of all injuries to
goaltenders at the NCAA level. One
of the common diagnoses of linger-
ing hip pain is femoroacetabular
impingement (FAI). FAI can occur
when there is large angle between
the acetabulum (the cup-shaped
cavity at the base of the hipbone)
and the neck of the femur (the bone
between the knee and hip). Con-
stant, abnormal contact at a high
angle can result in damage to the
labrum, which is a ring of fibrous
cartilage around the acetabulum.
Butterfly-style goaltenders may
be at particular risk for FAI. The
butterfly movement requires high
angles of internal rotation of the
hips as the feet splay outwards and
the lower legs drop down to a posi-
tion parallel to, and in contact with,
the ice surface. Goaltenders repeat
this movement between 34 and 59
times per game, plus executing the
movement in warm-ups, training
and competitive drills.
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