Objective: To evaluate the incidence of hypermobility in young female netball players and to determine the relation between hypermobility, previous injuries sustained in netball or other sports, and the use of protective equipment.
Methods: Under 16 year old female netball players from a local suburban netball association were assessed for joint hypermobility using the validated Beighton score (0–9, with higher scores indicating increasing hypermobility). Player profiles and details of sporting injuries, both netball and non-netball, and the use of protective equipment were gathered by means of a self completed questionnaire. Parental and child consent was obtained.
Results: Two hundred netball players were recruited for the study. Twenty one percent of the subjects with a Beighton hypermobility score of 0–2 had sustained previous netball injuries compared with 37% with Beighton scores of 3–4, and 43% with scores of 5–9. These differences were significant (p<0.025). Injuries were most common in the ankle (42%), knee (27%), and fingers (15%). Thirty nine players (19%) wore protective equipment, and within this group 30 (77%) had sustained previous injuries. No association was detected between hypermobile joints and non-netball sporting injuries.
Conclusions: In this study hypermobility was significantly associated with an increased prevalence of injuries in junior netball players. A targeted interventional approach may help to reduce injuries in this susceptible group.
- Beighton score
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Competing interests: none declared