ECCENTRIC KNEE FLEXOR WEAKNESS IN ELITE FEMALE FOOTBALLERS 1-10 YEARS FOLLOWING ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT RECONSTRUCTION

Review written by Adam Johnson info

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries are relatively common amongst elite Australian Rules Footballers (ARF), particularly within the elite female game. Not only are these injuries more common in the female game, but the risk of reinjury is also much greater in females than males. This leaves practitioners wishing to know what factors (1) may contribute towards this increased risk in order to act upon them and hopefully reduce the subsequent risk of reinjury.

Many ACL reconstructions (ACLR) utilize the ipsilateral semitendinosus as the new graft. The primary objective of this study was to assess the knee flexor strength in females with and without a history of ACL injury. A secondary aim was to define normative strength values for those players without ACL history.

METHODS

The study recruited a total of 84 elite female Australian Rules Footballers from three separate teams. The players completed the testing protocol during the 2018 pre-season. Participants were screened for their eccentric knee flexor strength using a commercially available load cell device. The testing protocol consisted of three maximal repetitions of the Nordic Hamstring Exercise whilst on the load cell device. A five-minute lower limb warm up was completed prior to testing. The subjects were asked to self-report on any history of ACL injury in their lifetime, or hamstring injury in the previous 12 months.

RESULTS

Of the 84 players screened, 12 reported previous ACL injuries (1 in 7). Of these 12 players, four (1 in 3) reported that they had suffered from hamstring injury (HSI) within the previous twelve months. Of the players who had

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