• Effects Of Q-angle On Lower Extremity Biomechanics And Injuries In Female Collegiate Track And Field Athletes

      Ham, Myranda Hope
      The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect that quadriceps angle, or Q-angle, has on lower extremity biomechanics in female collegiate track and field athletes, and in turn, investigate the effect that Q-angle has on the incidence of sports-related injury. Twenty members of the Mercer University Women’s Track and Field team were asked to participate in this study. Each subject’s limb length and Q-angle were measured and 2D gait analysis was performed in the Mercer Biomechanics and Gait Lab. Then, electromyographic (EMG) analysis was performed on eleven of the subjects on one of the university’s intramural fields. Each subject was also asked to provide a full history of sports injuries they had previously sustained. For data analysis, the subjects were divided into three groups based on Q-angle (group 1: 10�?�-14�?�, group 2: 15�?�-17�?�, and group 3: 18�?�+). Statistical analysis was performed using t-tests and Mood’s median tests to compare the three groups. Subjects from group 1 were found to have a lower angle hip adduction (p=0.002 compared to group 2 and p=0.05 compared to group 3) in the left frontal plane at initial contact and high incidence of shin splints (66.67%) and ankle sprains (33.33%). Subjects from group 2 were found to have larger range of motion of the knee in the sagittal plane (p=0.021 compared to group 1) and higher incidence of hamstring strains (50%). Subjects from group 3 were found to have high incidence of shin splints (50%) and injuries to the knee (26.67%). Although no statistical significance was found in the EMG data, meaningful trends were observed. Muscle activity in the vastus lateralis, rectus femoris, and lateral gastrocnemius was found to increase as Q-angle decreased. In the future, this study could be done with a higher sample size so more firm conclusions could be drawn.