Causal inference did not detect any effect of jump load on knee complaints in elite men's volleyball

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2024 May;34(5):e14635. doi: 10.1111/sms.14635.


The aim was to determine how jump load affects knee complaints in elite men's volleyball. We collected data from four men's premier league volleyball teams through three seasons in a prospective cohort study (65 players, 102 player-seasons). Vert inertial measurement devices captured the jump load (jump frequency and jump height) from 21 088 daily player sessions, and knee complaints were reported in 3568 weekly OSTRC-O questionnaires. Mixed complementary log-log regression models described the probability of (i) experiencing symptoms if players were currently asymptomatic, (ii) worsening symptoms if players had symptoms, and (iii) recovery from knee complaints. Based on our causal assumptions, weekly jump load was modeled as the independent variable, adjusted for age (years), weight (kg), position on volleyball team, and past jump load. No certain evidence of an association was found between weekly jump load and probability of (i) knee complaints (p from 0.10 to 0.32 for three restricted cubic splines of load), (ii) worsening symptoms if the player already had symptoms (p from 0.11 to 0.97), (iii) recovery (p from 0.36 to 0.63). The probability of knee complaints was highest for above-average weekly jump load (~1.2% for an outside hitter with mean age and height) compared with low loads (~1%) and very high loads (→ ~ 0%). The association between jump load and knee complaints risk remains unclear. Small differences in risk across observed jump load levels were observed. It would likely require substantially increased sample sizes to detect this association with certainty.

Keywords: ACWR; jumper's knee; load management; training load; training management.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Volleyball* / injuries
  • Young Adult