Identification of Risk Factors for Lower Limb Injuries in Athletes


  • Pedro Ribeiro Centro Hospitalar do Tâmega e Sousa Author
  • Ana Ribau Serviço de Ortopedia, Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Porto, Porto, Portugal Author
  • Tiago Amorim-Barbosa Serviço de Ortopedia, Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Porto, Porto, Portugal Author
  • João Esteves Serviço de Ortopedia, Centro Hospitalar Médio Ave, Santo Tirso, Portugal Author
  • Pedro Fonseca LABIOMEP ‐ Porto Biomechanics Laboratory, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal Author
  • Adélio Vilaça Serviço de Ortopedia, Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Porto, Porto, Portugal Author


Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries, Athletic Injuries, Biomechanical Phenomena, Leg Injuries, Lower Extremity, Muscle Strength, Risk Factors


Introduction: Proper physical activity and sport for everyone are one of the main cornerstones for a healthy lifestyle. However, regular sport activity is not without risk, with the correlation between participation in sport activities and the emergence of injuries being well documented. One of the most common injuries is the anterior cruciate ligament rup‐ ture which brings negative consequences for both the athlete and the team. Therefore, there is a high priority need to find standardized methods to identify which athletes are in greater risk of injury and what are the problems responsible for that risk with the goal of correcting them with customized training programs.
The aim of this project is to identify the athletes who have a higher injury risk through their biomechanical profile and the recognition of neuromuscular deficits of the inferior limbs in kinematic patterns.
Methods: Video analysis of three jumps (countermovement vertical jump without arm swing) performed by 27 basket‐ ball athletes. We recorded the flexion and varus/valgus knee angles. Anthropometric data, training hours per week and the presence or not of hypermobility in the Beighton scale were also collected.
Results: The presence of a higher body mass index was correlated with personal history of ankle sprain (BMI=21.64 ± 2.28 kg/m2 versus BMI=19.80 ± 2.21 kg/m2). It was found that athletes who land in a valgus collapse also land with less knee flexion (57.60o ± 9.29o vs 62.80o ± 10,62o). Considering as an asymmetry a difference of at least 10o, we marked 6 athletes with considerable variance between the two legs.
Conclusion: We concluded that it is possible to characterize the studied population and split some of the athletes in two risk groups according to the neuromuscular deficits. One of the groups is the leg dominance one and the other is put together in the same group quadriceps dominance and ligament dominance.


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Identification of Risk Factors for Lower Limb Injuries in Athletes. (2024). Orthopaedic SPOT, 1(2), 93-100.