Background In team sports lower extremity injuries account for over 50% of all injuries, indicating the importance of early detection of athletes at risk.
Objective Investigating the predictive value of ankle stability and landing technique at baseline for ankle and knee injury occurrence during the consecutive season in indoor team sport athletes.
Design Prospective longitudinal cohort study.
Setting (Sub-)elite level basketball, korfball or volleyball athletes.
Participants Out of 58 athletes 42 athletes (age: 22.2±3.9 yr, height: 184.5±11.8 cm, mass: 79.0±15.2 kg) met the inclusion criteria; being ≥18 years, performed baseline measurement and completion of season.
Risk factor assessment Athletes performed the Single-Leg Jump-Landing (SLJL) test and the Landing Error Scoring System (LESS) Jump at baseline. SLJL test resulted in a dynamic stability index (DSI) in medial-lateral (ml), anterior-posterior (ap) and vertical (v) direction for frontal, diagonal and lateral jump direction. High DSI indicates poor stability. The LESS determines an athlete's landing technique; high score represents poor landing technique.
Main outcome measurements Ankle and knee injuries were registered according to the FIFA registration system.
Results 9 ankle injuries and 7 knee injuries were reported. Athletes that reported an ankle injury scored a significant (P≤.05) higher DSI compared to non-injured athletes in diagonal ap (0.072±0.01 vs 0.066±0.01), diagonal v (0.350±0.06 vs 0.305±0.05) and lateral ap (0.057±0.01 vs 0.047±0.01) direction. Athletes that reported a knee injury scored a non-significant higher LESS score (7.46±1.38) compared to non-injured athletes (6.20±2.0).
Conclusions Athletes who sustained an ankle injury during the season showed higher DSI at baseline. Athletes with a knee injury showed tendency toward poorer landing technique. Both tests seem feasible to screen athletes at baseline giving insight in high-risk athletes. Prevention programs could be implemented preventing these athletes from sustaining an injury.
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