A cross-sectional analysis of sagittal knee laxity and isokinetic muscle strength in soccer players

Int J Sports Med. 2004 Nov;25(8):594-8. doi: 10.1055/s-2004-821116.


In this cross-sectional study, sagittal knee laxity and isokinetic strength of knee extensor and flexor muscle groups were measured and differences related to leg dominance were evaluated. A total of 44 healthy male soccer players (who had trained regularly at least for the last five years) and 44 sedentary people as their control counterparts were involved in this study. All participants were tested using a KT-1000 knee arthrometer for knee laxity. Isokinetic concentric knee peak torque and hamstring/quadriceps (H/Q) ratio were also measured at 60, 180, 300 degrees/s through a Cybex 2 - 340 dynamometer. Posterior laxity in the non-dominant side of soccer players was significantly higher than in the dominant side (p < 0.005) while there were no significant anterior and total anteroposterior (total AP) laxity differences in both groups. Soccer players had significantly lower anterior and total AP laxity values than controls (p < 0.0001) while there was no significant difference between posterior laxity values in both sides. Dominant extremity demonstrated significantly higher knee flexor peak torque and H/Q ratio at 180 degrees /s in soccer players (p < 0.05). Similarly in sedentary controls, H/Q ratio at 60 degrees /s of the dominant side was significantly higher than that in the non-dominant side (p < 0.05). Soccer players had significantly higher extensor and flexor peak torque values and H/Q ratios than sedentary subjects for both extremities. In both groups, there were no significant correlations between knee laxity and isokinetic knee extensor and flexor strength and H/Q ratios except weak negative correlation between posterior knee laxity and isokinetic extensor peak torque at 60, 180 and 300 degrees /s (p < 0.005, r = - 0.43, p < 0.05, r = - 0.39, p < 0.05, r = - 0.32 respectively) in the non-dominant side of soccer players and at 300 degrees /s (p < 0.05, r = - 0.32) in the non-dominant side of controls. Soccer players demonstrated significantly less sagittal knee laxity and higher isokinetic strength of the knee flexors and extensors compared to sedentary controls. Isokinetic strength difference was found to be higher for the flexor muscle group. Further prospective studies are needed to explain whether the increased H/Q ratio decreases the risk of ligamentous injury.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology*
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Soccer / physiology*
  • Torque