Background About 8,9% of the Spanish population play racket sports were the most prevalent injured anatomic area is the triceps surae. The only known predictor is that the mean age of patients is 40 years old. It would be useful to know the incidence and type of injury in these sports in order to establish mechanisms for prevention.
Methods The aim of this study was to establish a predictive model of triceps surae injury considering intrinsic and extrinsic causes that may prejudice a subject to suffer such injury. A descriptive, transversal and single-blind study was designed. Ten healthy subjects randomly chosen separated into two groups of five (<39,99 and >40 years old) answered a survey and anthropometric measurements were performed. The gastrocnemius length in cm (L), the cross section area in cm2 (CSA) of gastronemius and soleus and their pennation angles in degrees (PA) of the right limb were sonographically evaluated.
Results Both groups baseline data were similar [mean age (years) 33,23±12,98, wheight (kg) 69,49±13,46, height (m) 1,71±0,06, BMI 23,56±3,13 (70% with normal wheigt and 30% with overweight)]. Anthropometric measures of the right lower limb in the group under 39,99 years old were: [medial gastrocnemius (L 28,76±3,10; CSA 20,45±4,95; PA 23,40±5,22), lateral gartrocnemius (L 26,64±1,36; CSA 10,35±1,88; PA 17,40±4,92), medial soleus (PA 30,00±3,53), lateral soleus (PA 15,60±7,95), and soleus CSA 22,02±3,84]. Over 40 years old anthropometric measures were: [medial gastrocnemius (L 27,70±2,01; CSA 15,62±6,18; PA 20,20±3,63), lateral gastrocnemius (L 25,18±1,61; CSA 6,61±4,38; PA 12,80±2,58), medial soleus (PA 20,20±12,02), lateral soleus (PA 19,60±7,82), and soleus CSA 21,10±5,07].
Conclusions After analysing the results, it should be noted that subjects under 39,99 years have a significantly lower CSA and PA in the medial gastrocnemius than those over 40. As for lateral gastrocnemius, differences were found mainly in the PA. For medial soleus, those >40 had a higher PA but for lateral soleus PA was higher in patients <39,99. It would be interesting to re-evaluate both groups in ten years and check if those <40 had suffered muscle tears or tennis leg injuries, and if those <39,99 have changes their muscle architecture. Thus, proper training techniques could be applied to prevent such injury.
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