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MEDICINA DELLO SPORT

A Journal on Sports Medicine


Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation, Official Journal of the European Federation of Sports Medicine Association
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Medicina dello Sport 2017 December;70(4):563-73

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.17.03193-3

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

No differences in the functional assessment for decision-making regarding return to sports following ACL reconstruction in professional and semi-professional soccer players

Felix FISCHER 1, 2, Peter GFÖLLER 2, 3, Christian HOSER 2, 3, Hannes GATTERER 2, 4, 5, Karl SCHWARZENBRUNNER 6, Tobias DÜNNWALD 7, Wolfgang SCHOBERSBERGER 2, 7, Christian FINK 1, 2, 3

1 Research Unit of Orthopedic Sports Medicine and Injury Prevention, ISAG/UMIT, Eduard-Wallnöfer-Zentrum 1, Hall in Tirol, Austria; 2 FIFA Medical Center of Excellence Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria; 3 Gelenkpunkt - Sports and Joint Surgery, Innsbruck, Austria; 4 Institute for Sport Science, University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria; 5 Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine, EURAC Research, Bolzano, Italy; 6 FC Wacker Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria; 7 Institute for Sports Medicine, Alpine Medicine and Health Tourism (ISAG), Tirol Kliniken GmbH Innsbruck and UMIT, Hall in Tirol, Austria


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BACKGROUND: To facilitate decision making regarding a patient’s return to sport, a standardized and easy-to-use test battery including seven functional tests is proposed to objectively evaluate knee function after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. So far, no sports-specific normative data exist. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the utility of a test battery in the setting of a professional soccer club. It was hypothesized that professional soccer players have a higher performance level in the functional tests than semi-professional soccer players.
METHODS: Thirty-four healthy male professional and semi-professional soccer players (age 21.4± 4.1 years, height 179.9± 4.9 cm, weight 73.6± 6.1 kg) of a professional soccer club participated in this study. Players completed a test battery consisting of seven functional tests prior to a team training session. The functional tests were a two-legged and one-legged stability test, a two-legged and one-legged counter movement jump, speedy jumps, plyometric jumps, and a quick feet test.
RESULTS: The professional and semi-professional soccer players differed in regard to the two-legged counter movement jump height (P=0.006) and power outcomes (P=0.01). Additionally, a significant difference in the one-legged-CMJ jump height (P=0.005) and one-legged-CMJ power (P=0.004) in the dominant leg was observed. The remaining functional tests showed no group differences.
CONCLUSIONS: Assessing functional performance using the present test battery is simple during the athletic training sessions of the sports team. A difference between professional and semi- professional soccer players was seen in jump height; however, no differences were observed in the other tests. Additionally, if a player is injured, an objective evaluation regarding their functional readiness to return to sports is possible by reference to the player’s scores on the test battery as completed pre-injury. No specific norm data are required, although the jump height data needs closer examination.


KEY WORDS: Soccer - Return to sport - Knee

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Publication History

Issue published online: January 22, 2018
Manuscript accepted: November 28, 2017
Manuscript received: September 14, 2017

Cite this article as

Fischer F, Gföller P, Hoser C, Gatterer H, Schwarzenbrunner K, Dünnwald T, et al. No differences in the functional assessment for decision-making regarding return to sports following ACL reconstruction in professional and semi-professional soccer players. Med Sport 2017;70:563-73. DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.17.03193-3

Corresponding author e-mail

c.fink@gelenkpunkt.com