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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 October;59(10):1724-38

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.19.09563-X


language: English

Anterior cruciate ligament injury risk factors in football

Gian Nicola BISCIOTTI 1 , Karim CHAMARI 1, Emanuele CENA 1, Andrea BISCIOTTI 2, Alessandro BISCIOTTI 2, Alessandro CORSINI 3, Piero VOLPI 3, 4

1 Qatar Orthopedic and Sport Medicine Hospital, FIFA Center of Excellence, Doha, Qatar; 2 Kinemove Rehabilitation Centers, Pontremoli, La Spezia, Italy; 3 FC Internazionale Milano, Milan, Italy; 4 Unit of Traumatology, Department of Knee Orthopedic and Sports, Humanitas Research Hospital, Rozzano, Milan, Italy

INTRODUCTION: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) lesion represents one of the most dramatic injuries in a football (soccer) player’s career. There are many injury risk factors related to intrinsic (non-modifiable) and/or extrinsic (modifiable) factors of ACL injury.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Research of the studies was conducted until September 2018 without publication data limitation or language restriction on the following databases: PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, ISI, EXCERPTA.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: To date, evidence from the literature suggests that the risk of ACL injury is multifactorial and involves biomechanical, anatomical, hormonal, and neuromuscular factors. Despite this relative complexity, the mechanisms of injury are well known and rationally classified into two categories: mechanisms of injury based on contact or on non-contact with another player, with the non-contact injury mechanisms clearly prevailing over the mechanisms of contact injury. One of the most frequent biomechanical risk factors, associated with ACL non-contact injury, is represented by the valgus knee in the pivoting and cutting movements and in the landing phase after jumping. Gender-related risk factors show female populations to have a higher predisposition to ACL injury than males However, there are still some theoretical and practical aspects that need further investigation such as; genetic risks together with the role of estrogen and progesterone receptors in female populations, and the in-vivo interaction shoe-playing surface. In particular, the genetic risk factors of ACL lesion seem to be an interesting and promising field of investigation, where considerable progress has still to be made.
CONCLUSIONS: This narrative review provides an insight into the risk factors of ACL injury that could be used by practitioners for preventing injury in football (soccer).

KEY WORDS: Knee injuries; Risk factors; Biomechanical phenomena; Genetic phenomena; Sex

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