Background: Identifying and understanding injury risk factors are necessary to develop and target measures to prevent injuries. Because youth teams rarely have health care professionals working directly with the team, identifying players at increased risk through elaborate clinical tests is not feasible. Questionnaires may be a possible alternative as screening instruments.
Purpose: To examine whether injury history and lower limb function assessed by a self-administered questionnaire represent risk factors for injury.
Study design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 2.
Methods: At baseline, female soccer players (aged 14-16 years) were asked to complete a detailed questionnaire covering sports participation; history of previous injuries to the ankle, knee, hamstring, or groin; as well as present function of these 4 specific regions. A total of 1430 (71% of the entire cohort) were followed up to record injuries during the subsequent 8 months.
Results: A history of a previous injury to the ankle (rate ratio, 1.2 [1.1-1.3]; P < .001), knee (rate ratio, 1.4 [1.2-1.6]; P <.001), or groin (rate ratio, 1.6 [1.2-2.1]; P = .004) increased the risk of new injuries to the same region. Reporting a reduced function (defined as <80% of the maximum score) for the ankle (rate ratio, 1.7 [1.1-2.7]; P =.021) or knee (rate ratio, 3.2 [1.8-5.7]; P <.001) was also a significant risk factor. However, the sensitivity of previous injuries and lower limb function in predicting new injuries was low.
Conclusion: A history of previous injury and reduced function at baseline were significant risk factors for new injuries to the same region during the following season.