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Field-expedient screening and injury risk algorithm categories as predictors of noncontact lower extremity injury

Authors


Corresponding author: Michael E. Lehr, Department of Physical Therapy, Lebanon Valley College, 101 North College Avenue, Annville, PA 17003-1400, USA. Tel: +717 867 6853, Fax: +717 867 6849, E-mail: mlehr@lvc.edu

Abstract

In athletics, efficient screening tools are sought to curb the rising number of noncontact injuries and associated health care costs. The authors hypothesized that an injury prediction algorithm that incorporates movement screening performance, demographic information, and injury history can accurately categorize risk of noncontact lower extremity (LE) injury. One hundred eighty-three collegiate athletes were screened during the preseason. The test scores and demographic information were entered into an injury prediction algorithm that weighted the evidence-based risk factors. Athletes were then prospectively followed for noncontact LE injury. Subsequent analysis collapsed the groupings into two risk categories: Low (normal and slight) and High (moderate and substantial). Using these groups and noncontact LE injuries, relative risk (RR), sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios were calculated. Forty-two subjects sustained a noncontact LE injury over the course of the study. Athletes identified as High Risk (n = 63) were at a greater risk of noncontact LE injury (27/63) during the season [RR: 3.4 95% confidence interval 2.0 to 6.0]. These results suggest that an injury prediction algorithm composed of performance on efficient, low-cost, field-ready tests can help identify individuals at elevated risk of noncontact LE injury.

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