Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Anthropometric risk factors for patellar tendon injury among volleyball players
  1. P Malliaras1,
  2. J L Cook2,
  3. P M Kent3
  1. 1Brunel University, West London, UK
  2. 2La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3Monash University, Cabrini Institute, Melbourne, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
 Peter Malliaras
 La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria 3086, Australia; peter.malliaras{at}


Objective: Abnormal imaging in the patellar tendon reveals pathology that is often associated with knee pain. Anthropometric measures of body size and mass, such as height, weight and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), have been individually associated with abnormal imaging. The aim of this study was to investigate the anthropometric factors that have the strongest relationship with abnormal imaging in volleyball players.

Methods: Height, weight, body mass index (BMI), waist girth, hip girth and WHR were measured in a cohort of 113 competitive volleyball players (73 men, 40 women). The univariate (ANOVA) and multivariable (discriminant function analysis) association between abnormal imaging and these anthropometric factors were investigated.

Results: No significant association was found in the female volleyball players. A significant univariate association was observed between abnormal imaging and heavier weight, greater BMI, larger waist and hip girth and larger WHR in the male volleyball players. Waist girth was the only factor that retained this association in a multivariable model (p<0.05).

Conclusions: Men with a waist girth greater than 83 cm seem to be at greater risk of developing patellar tendon pathology. There may be both mechanical and biochemical reasons for this increased risk.

  • BMI, body mass index
  • ROC, receiver operator characteristic
  • WHR, waist-to-hip ratio

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Published Online First 18 August 2006

  • Ethics approval was granted by the Human Ethics Committee at La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia. Participants gave informed consent before the start of the study.