Hamstring injury severity in soccer players not linked to ultrasound results

Ultrasound scan results had no bearing on professional soccer players’ time missed due to hamstring injuries based on recently published data.

“The 51 acute hamstring injuries [studied] resulted in absence from soccer of a mean 25.4 ± 15.7 days per injury, with no significant difference between players with and without sonographically verified abnormalities,” Jesper Petersen, MD, PhD, and colleagues wrote in the study abstract.
The study included 67 players from 50 teams from one of the top five Danish soccer divisions. Investigators identified 51 players who elected to undergo ultrasonographic exams at any time during the year 2008 within 1 day to 10 days following acute injury to the hamstring.
"The biceps femoris is the most commonly injured hamstring muscle detected by ultrasound, and more than half of the injuries are intramuscular," Petersen and colleagues wrote. Among the hamstring injuries, two-thirds were to the biceps femoris muscle and one-third were to the semitendinosus muscle.
Sonographic evidence of the injury was seen in 31 cases (61%). The researchers found that the length of the injured area in the athletes did not correlate with the severity of their injuries.
Athletes in this study missed up to 74 days of play before return to sport.

“Because neither the presence of sonographic findings nor the size of the findings was correlated with time to return to play in injured soccer players, the prognosis of hamstring injuries should not be guided by these findings alone,” the authors concluded. – by Christian Ingram

Disclosure: The trial was funded by the Orthopedic Research Unit, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Amager University Hospital, Denmark.