Dr.-Ing. Thomas Grund, Dipl.-Ing. (2011)

Title of the Dissertation:

Biomechanical analysis of the influence of the footwear design on the loads in the anterior cruciate ligament


Non-Contact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are a major problem in modern football (soccer). The stud design of the football shoes is suspected to be one important risk factor for ACL injuries. The aim of this thesis was therefore to investigate whether or not the football shoe stud design corresponds to the loads occurring in the ACL. As direct measurements as well as subject tests (ethical reasons) are not possible, mechanical tests of the shoe-surface interaction are the only way to answer the research question. Hereby the realistic loading of the football shoes during the experimental tests is of major importance in order to get reliable and meaningful measurement results. Therefore the kinematics and ground reaction forces of real ACL injury situations were determined by means of the Poser method and the resulting joint moments were calculated via computer simulation using an inverse dynamics approach. The results of the Poser analysis and the computer simulation were the basic condition for the experimental setup comparing four different stud designs using a novel pneumatic driven test device called TrakTester. The measurement data showed significant differences of the measured forces and torques between the different stud designs. In order to estimate the influence of the stud design on the loading of the ACL risk potentials were derived from the measurement data for each loading scenario considering also medical and biomechanical knowledge. These risk potentials lead to the conclusion that the stud design influences the loading of the ACL. But they depend substantially on the specific boundary conditions and the loading scenario. This thesis basically contradicts the assumption that the use of football shoes with bladed studs causes a higher risk for the ACL compared to shoes with conventional round studs. In summary the new method developed during this thesis enables in combination with the TrakTester a considerably more realistic investigation of the shoe-surface interaction than approaches used up to now. Beside their role as boundary conditions for the experimental setup the results of the Poser analysis and the computer simulation provide furthermore a lot of biomechanical perceptions regarding the injury mechanism of non-contact ACL-injuries.

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