Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center

Main content of the page

Information about project titled 'Risk factors for ankle injury in Scandinavian elite football'

Risk factors for ankle injury in Scandinavian elite football

Details about the project - category Details about the project - value
Project status: Published
Project manager: Arni Arnason
Supervisor(s): Roald Bahr, Lars Engebretsen
Coworker(s): Arni Arnason


Previous studies have described the incidence and injury pattern (injury type, localization and severity)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). Previous studies have described the incidence and injury pattern (injury type, localization and severity) in football (Inklaar 1994, Dvorak 2000, Inklaar 1994b). Much less is known about risk factors and injury mechanisms of the most frequent injuries in football. Male football players with previous ankle injury have reduced risk of injury when using ankle orthosis (Tropp 1985, Surve 1994) or balance board training (Tropp 1985).

Freeman et al. (1965) found that ligamentous injuries of the ankle often produced a proprioceptive deficit and introduced a modification of Rombergs test with the patient standing on the injured foot. Freeman argued that impaired stability under the conditions of this test implied a disturbance of proprioception. Tropp et al.(1984) found that stabilometry is an objective method to assess functional stability quantitively.

The aim of this study is to find specific risk factors for ankle injuries in football and to determine whether a simple ankle balance test can predict the chance of a new ankle injury in football players.

Pre-season testing i.e. mechanical ankle instability and functional tests and a standardized questionnaire that focus on risk factors for ankle injuries i.e. previous injury, age, side, was carried out in Norwegian premier league players (approx.330) season 2000 and Islandic elite and 1.division players (approx. 300) season 1999 and 2000. The ankle balance test presented by Freeman et al. (1965) and modified by Tropp (1997) was performed pre-season of both ankles of all players. Information of all new ankle injuries during the seasons 1999 and 2000 in Island and season 2000 in Norway was registered. Post-season ankle test were carried out for some of the Norwegian players.