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At return to play following hamstring injury the majority of professional football players have residual isokinetic deficits
  1. Johannes L Tol1,
  2. Bruce Hamilton2,
  3. Cristiano Eirale1,
  4. Patrice Muxart1,
  5. Philipp Jacobsen1,
  6. Rod Whiteley1
  1. 1Aspetar, Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  2. 2High Performance Sport New Zealand/NZ Olympic Committee, Sports Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ), Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Johannes L Tol, Aspetar, Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, PO Box 29222, Doha, Qatar; johannes.tol{at}aspetar.com

Abstract

Background There is an ongoing debate regarding the optimal criteria for return to sport after an acute hamstring injury. Less than 10% isokinetic strength deficit is generally recommended but this has never been documented in professional football players after rehabilitation. Our aim was to evaluate isokinetic measurements in MRI-positive hamstring injuries.

Methods Isokinetic measurements of professional football players were obtained after completing a standardised rehabilitation programme. An isokinetic strength deficit of more than 10% compared with the contralateral site was considered abnormal. Reinjuries within 2 months were recorded.

Results 52 players had a complete set of isokinetic testing before clinical discharge. There were 27 (52%) grade 1 and 25 (48%) grade 2 injuries. 35 of 52 players (67%) had at least one of the three hamstring-related isokinetic parameters that display a deficit of more than 10%. The percentage of players with 10% deficit for hamstring concentric 60°/s, 300°/s and hamstring eccentric was respectively 39%, 29% and 28%. There was no significant difference of mean isokinetic peak torques and 10% isokinetic deficits in players without reinjury (N=46) compared with players with reinjury (N=6).

Conclusions When compared with the uninjured leg, 67% of the clinically recovered hamstring injuries showed at least one hamstring isokinetic testing deficit of more than 10%. Normalisation of isokinetic strength seems not to be a necessary result of the successful completion of a football-specific rehabilitation programme. The possible association between isokinetic strength deficit and increased reinjury risk remains unknown.

  • Hamstring injuries
  • Isokinetics
  • Soccer

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

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