A controlled prospective case control study of a prevention training program in female team handball players: the German experience

Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2005 Nov;125(9):614-21. doi: 10.1007/s00402-005-0793-7.


Background: Few authors have investigated the effectiveness of preventive intervention in European team handball.

Purpose: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a prevention program on the incidence of injuries in female European team handball players.

Study design: Prospective controlled study.

Methods: Ten female handball teams (134 players) took part in the prevention program (1. Information about injury mechanism, 2. Balance-board exercises, 3. Jump training) while 10 other teams (142 players) were instructed to train as usual. Over one season all injuries were documented weekly.

Results: Ankle sprain was the most frequent diagnosis in both groups with 11 ankle sprains in the control group and 7 ankle sprains in the intervention group (Odds ratio: 0.55, 95% confidence interval: 0.22-1.43). The knee was the second frequent injury site. In the control group 5 of all knee injuries were anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures (incidence: 0.21 per 1000 h) in comparison with one in the intervention group (incidence: 0.04 per 1000 h). Odds ratio was 0.17 with 95% confidence interval of 0.02-1.5.

Conclusions: This study confirms that proprioceptive and neuromuscular training is appropriate for the prevention of knee and ankle injuries among female European team handball players.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle Injuries / prevention & control
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Foot Injuries / prevention & control
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / prevention & control
  • Leg Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Prospective Studies