Background Generalized ligamentous laxity has been implicated with musculoskeletal injuries. Little evidence has emerged from the Asia-Pacific regarding the epidemiology of generalized ligamentous laxity.
Objective The aim of this study is to determine if generalized ligamentous laxity may be a predisposing factor for musculoskeletal injuries in young males. We hypothesized that generalized ligamentous laxity would be more common in individuals with musculoskeletal injuries compared with controls.
Design Prospective case-control study.
Participants All participants were male Singaporeans who were serving their National Service in the same military institute. The cases comprised of 100 consecutive individuals who presented to the primary healthcare centre in the institute with musculoskeletal injuries involving the upper or lower extremities that occurred as a result of physical activity. Our control group comprised of 100 age- and gender-matched individuals but did not have any musculoskeletal symptoms or injury for a period of 3 months or more from the time of recruitment.
Assessment of risk factors Demographic data were gathered using a questionnaire. The surveyed factors include personal history, smoking history and sporting activity as well as the baseline demographic and anthropometric data.
Main outcome measurements The Beighton score was used to measure laxity, which was determined to be present by overall scores equal to or exceeding 4.
Results Generalized ligamentous laxity was present in 12% of the cases compared with 4% of controls (P=.043). Individuals who presented with musculoskeletal injuries were 3.35 times more likely to have generalized ligamentous laxity as compared to controls. Lower limb injuries were more common than upper limb injuries amongst the cases.
Conclusions Generalized ligamentous laxity was more common in individuals who presented with a musculoskeletal injury. It may be a predisposing factor for musculoskeletal injuries. Prehabilitation may be an important aspect of training that should be emphasized to individuals identified to have generalized ligamentous laxity.
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