Purpose: The objective of this study was to investigate modulation in prelanding muscle responses and its associated impact force on landing from unexpected and self-initiated drops in male basketball players with a history of bilateral multiple ankle sprains (BMAS).
Methods: Prelanding EMG responses were recorded in four lower-limb muscles, together with the impact force on landing, while 20 healthy and 19 basketball players with BMAS performed unexpected, self-initiated drops from a height of 30 cm.
Results: Group differences were detected after self-initiated but not unexpected drops. Two main changes in prelanding EMG responses were observed in the injured basketball players during the self-initiated drops. First, tibialis anterior (TA) was activated significantly earlier in the injured group, whereas left tensor fascia latae appeared closer to the moment of landing (P < 0.025) than in the healthy players. Second, cocontraction indexes between left TA and peroneus longus, and left TA and medial gastrocnemius, were significantly greater in the injured than in the healthy players (P < 0.025). On landing, higher magnitude-of-impact forces were observed in the injured players on the right leg (by 23%, P = 0.012).
Conclusion: In basketball players with BMAS, modulation of prelanding muscle response latencies occurred in injured (ankle) and uninjured (hip) joints during self-initiated but not unexpected drops. Greater cocontraction index between the left ankle muscle pairs in preparation for landing from self-initiated drops, and a significantly higher magnitude of impact force in the right leg on landing, were observed in the injured players.