Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Andrew Froehle (Advisor), David Ladle (Committee Member), Drew Pringle (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The soleus muscle is a monoarticular plantarflexor composed slow-twitch fatigue-resistant muscle fibers. Through its attachment to the proximal tibia, contraction of the soleus muscle in a closed kinetic chain (when the foot is planted) produces a posterior pulling force on the posterior proximal tibia. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is responsible for preventing anterior displacement of the tibia relative to the femur. Through the production of a posterior pulling force on the tibia, soleus muscle contraction in a closed kinetic chain could help reduce strain on the ACL. Fatigue is a neuromuscular phenomenon that can alter biomechanical strategies during athletics and can increase an individual's risk of being injured. The purpose of this study is to analyze the effects soleus muscle fatigue has on knee biomechanics during the sidestep cutting maneuvers. To analyze the effects of soleus muscle fatigue, thirteen female subjects underwent a submaximal fatigue protocol targeting the soleus muscle. Biomechanical data during sidestep cutting tasks were gathered for pre-/post-soleus fatigue conditions. Additionally, dominant/nondominant limb differences were secondarily analyzed. Results showed a significant increase in peak knee extension moment in the post-soleus fatigue condition during the sidestep cutting task. We concluded that fatigue or excessive stretch of the soleus muscle puts the ACL at an increased risk for injury during sidestep cutting maneuvers. These findings provide evidence that the tricep surae muscles have an influence on knee biomechanics during dynamic exercise. Further investigation of these factors can help with the development of ACL injury prevention and rehabilitation strategies.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Physiology

Year Degree Awarded




Included in

Anatomy Commons