Knee function among elite handball and football players 1 to 6 years after anterior cruciate ligament injury

The aim of the study was to describe objective and self-reported knee function for athletes who have returned to elite handball and football play after an ACL injury, comparing these to non-injured players at the same level. A total of 414 handball and 444 football players completed baseline tests from 2007 through 2014, examining lower extremity strength, dynamic balance, knee laxity, and knee function (KOOS questionnaire). Measures were compared between injured and non-injured legs, and between injured legs and legs of controls. Eighty (9.3%) of the 858 players reported a previous ACL injury, 1 to 6 yrs post-injury (3.5±2.5 yrs), 49 handball (61.3%) and, 31 football players (38.7%). We found no difference in strength or dynamic balance between previously ACL-injured (N=80) and non-injured players legs (N=1556). However, lower quadriceps (6.3%, 95% CI: 3.2 to 9.2) and hamstrings muscle strength (6.1%, 95% CI: 3.3 to 8.1) was observed in previously ACL-injured legs compared to the non-injured contralateral side (N=80). ACL-injured knees displayed greater joint laxity than for the contralateral knee (N=80, 17%, 95% CI: 8 to 26) and healthy knees (N=1556, 23%, 95% CI: 14 to 33). KOOS scores were significantly lower for injured knees compared to knees of non-injured players. ACL-injured players who have successfully returned to elite sport have comparable strength and balance measures as their non-injured teammates. Subjective perception of knee function is strongly affected by injury history, with clinically relevant lower scores for the KOOS sub-scores Pain, Function, Sport and Quality Of Life.
© Copyright 2017 Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. Blackwell Publishing. All rights reserved.

Subjects: knee joint injury damage therapy function performance handball soccer sports game physical conditioning ability strength balance
Notations: sport games biological and medical sciences
Tagging: Kreuzband
DOI: 10.1111/sms.12842
Published in: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
Published: 2017
Issue: in print
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced