March 11, 2016
1 min read

Link seen with low normalized knee separation, risk of lower extremity injury in female youth soccer players

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Among post-menarchal soccer players, investigators found a correlation between low normalized knee separation during drop-jump testing and an increased chance of lower extremity and knee injuries, according to study results.

Researchers conducted a prospective study of 351 female elite youth soccer players who were followed for one season. Patients were aged between 11 years and 14 years. During the preseason, players were analyzed using baseline drop-jump tests. An Internet-based survey surveillance system with weekly reports was used to validate lower extremity injuries.

Investigators classified normalized knee separation for pre-landing, landing and takeoff as being either less than or equal to the 10th percentile or greater than the 10th percentile and as a continuous measure of one standard deviation (SD). They also used Poisson regression analysis to investigate correlations between the risk of lower extremity injury, incident knee injury and normalized knee separation, and stratified the findings by menarche.

Result showed 134 soccer players had 173 lower extremity injuries and 43 knee injuries. Investigators noted post-menarchal soccer players with normalized knee separation less than or equal to the 10th percentile had a 92% increased chance of sustaining a lower extremity injury and a 3.62-fold increased chance for knee injury during pre-landing and landing vs. the comparison group.

There was an 80% increased chance for knee injury with a decrease of one SD in landing normalized knee separation; whereas at takeoff, there was a 66% increased chance for knee injury with a decrease in one SD only among postmenarchal players. According to researchers, there was no significant difference between normalized knee separation during prelanding, landing, takeoff and the risk of lower extremity or knee injuries among pre-menarchal players. by Monica Jaramillo

Disclosures: The research was supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the NIH under award number R01AR051059.