Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center

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Information about project titled 'Injury mechanisms for ankle injury in Scandinavian elite football'

Injury mechanisms for ankle injury in Scandinavian elite football

Details about the project - category Details about the project - value
Project status: Published
Project manager: Thor Einar Andersen
Supervisor(s): Roald Bahr, Lars Engebretsen
Coworker(s): Ingar Holme, Arni Arnason, Tonje Wåle Flørenes


The lower extremity is the most common site for football injuries and contributes to 60% to 90% of the total number of injuries. (Inklaar 1994) Football injuries mostly affect the ankle, knee, thigh and groin (Inklaar 1994, Dvorak 2000, Hawkins & Fuller 2002) and sprains and strains are the most common types of injury (Inklaar 1994, Arnason et al. 1996, Dvorak 2000). Ankle sprains are in 85% of the cases inversion injuries (Garrick 1988) that mainly involves the lateral ligament complex.

In most cases lateral ligament injury occurs with the foot rotating inwards in plantar flexion when the tibia is simultaneously rotating outwards, giving rise to anterolateral rotational movement. The mechanism for ankle injuries in football has to date not been described in detail. More sport specific information is necessary to understand the cause of ankle injury. Most studies have based their injury information on post-injury player interviews or reports from the medical staff retrospectively (Arnason et al. 1996, Surve 1994, Nielsen 1989, Høy 1992, Hawkins 2001). The aim of this study was to describe the mechanisms of ankle injury in football at the moment of injury using video analysis.

Videotapes and injury information of all acute ankle injuries during matchplay were collected prospectively from the (male) Norwegian professional football league during the 2000 season and from the two highest divisions in Iceland during the 1999 and 2000 seasons. The medical staff of each club collected injury information. The video recordings of the ankle injuries were transferred to a separate master videotape. Each recording was edited to include three sequences, i.e. the entire playing situation at normal speed, one repetition of the injury situation and a slow motion close up of the injury situation. A specific ankle questionnaire was developed to analyze the injury mechanism and the events leading up to the injury. The video recordings of each ankle injury were analyzed independently by two experienced specialists in sports medicine.

Disagreements were discussed and a final decision was made in a consensus meeting after re-evaluation of the recordings.