Background/objective To investigate the incidence and injury mechanism as well as intrinsic risk factors for acute sports injuries in female volleyball.
Design Prospective epidemiological study.
Setting and participants 174 female volleyball players from Slovenian Divisions I and II were prospectively monitored during 2007–2008 season.
Methods All injuries were prospectively documented by team coaches. Prior to the season all players underwent the following tests: anthropometry, sit and reach test, isokinetic strength testing of the knee and shoulder, postural stability testing and vertical jump testing. Main outcome measure was injury incidence; binary logistic regression was used afterwards in order to evaluate the role of different parameters from functional testing on injury occurrence.
Results The overall incidence of injuries for the females was 0.35±0.19 per 1000 h of volleyball played. The incidence of injuries in a game situation was higher than in practice (2.10±1.06 vs 0.42±0.24) The most frequent injury was acute ankle sprain 1.45 (1.98), followed by knee injury 0.69 (1.34). Majority of injuries occurred during the competition season (81.4%), in the middle of training (25.58%) or during a game (25.58%). Most injuries occurred during landing (41.4%). Risk factor analysis revealed that previous injury is an important risk factor for acute knee injuries and ankle sprains. Low hamstring quadriceps ratio was related with ankle sprains, while quadriceps strength asymmetry was related to acute knee injuries.
Conclusions The results of our study suggest that isokinetic strength testing in previously injured female volleyball players could identify players with increased risk for acute knee injuries and ankle sprains.