A follow-up study is now under way in UD's state-of-the-art Human Performance Laboratory with support from the University of Delaware Research Foundation.
We're trying to identify people who are or are not 'caught off guard' during different landing tasks, Swanik said. Then we'd like to match the neurocognitive characteristics of people who are easily distracted or have awkward landings. This would allow us to search for injury-prone or perhaps accident-resistant people.
So what light might this study shed on Donovan McNabb's ACL injury in that ill-fated game with the Tennessee Titans last November"
It's a challenge to explain how such a highly conditioned, muscular and coordinated athlete is injured, unless we consider that he was momentarily distracted the instant before his foot contacted the ground, resulting in an awkward landing, Swanik said.
But McNabb is not alone. An estimated 200,000 anterior cruciate ligament injuries occur annually in the United States, mostly in young, healthy, active individuals.
According to Swanik, it is not uncommon to have one or two ACL injuries every season on a football team, and the incidence is likely even greater on women's sports teams.
Young women are actually at the highest risk for these injuries, particularly in soccer and basketball, Swanik said.