Lower Limb Anthropometric Profiling in Professional Female Soccer Players: A Proof of Concept for Asymmetry Assessment Using Video Analysis

Kristian J Weaver, Nicola Relph

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Abstract

The objective was to evaluate the clinical joint and limb measures in professional female soccer players. The study was a cross-sectional observational design. It was a preseason clinical setting. The inclusion criteria were outfield professional female soccer players, based in the UK, competing in the highest English league. The exclusion criteria included players who had had surgery in the last six months or had missed a single training session or match due to injury in the previous three months. In terms of the outcome measures, the dependent variables were the true limb length, ankle dorsiflexion, knee flexion and extension, hip flexion, extension, internal rotation and external rotation, and straight leg raise measured using video analysis software. Additionally, passive clinical knee and ankle stability tests were conducted. The independent variables were leg dominance and playing position (defender, midfielder, and attacker). For the results, all the ROM measurements demonstrated limb symmetry (p = 0.621). However, there were significant main effects of the playing position on the ankle dorsiflexion and hip internal rotation, with defenders demonstrating a significantly reduced range of motion in comparison to midfielders and attackers. A notable finding from the bilateral passive stability measures was that 38.3% of players exhibited ankle talar inversion instability when using a talar tilt. In conclusion, bilateral differences do not appear to be apparent in this population; however, positional differences may occur in the ankle and hip range of motion measures. A high proportion of this population may present with passive ankle inversion instability. Future research should consider whether this leads to a higher risk of injury in this population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6124
Number of pages1
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number12
Early online date14 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • Screening
  • Clinical
  • Female Athlete
  • Soccer
  • Lower Extremity
  • Ankle
  • Ankle Joint
  • Humans
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female

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