Functional Movement Screening and Injury Rates in High School and Collegiate Runners: A Retrospective Analysis of 3 Prospective Observational Studies

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Abstract

Objective:

Determine if the Functional Movement Screening (FMS) can be used to predict injury in high school and collegiate cross-country and track runners.

Design:

Prospective Observational, Cohort Study, Level of Evidence, 2.

Setting:

High schools and colleges in the Central Ohio area.

Patients:

Inclusion: (1) cross-country or track runners at participating schools; (2) full participation without restrictions; and (3) signed informed assent or consent. Exclusion: (1) Any injury or lower extremity surgery within 30 days; (2) planned limited participation in the upcoming season; or (3) other participation restrictions.

Interventions:

Functional Movement Screening was completed before the start of each season. Injuries were tracked during the regular season. No interventions were made based on FMS score.

Main Outcome Measures:

Functional Movement Screening scores, including overall, lower extremity, and specific exercises were compared between runners who did and did not sustain an injury using 2 sample t tests. A cutoff FMS score of ≤14 (most common in previous studies), and ≤15 (determined by a receiver operating characteristic curve), were compared using χ2 tests.

Results:

One hundred eighty-three runners were enrolled in the study. Overall, 32 (17.5%) runners sustained an injury. Functional Movement Screening score was not accurate in predicting injury for ≤14 (sensitivity: 65.6%; specificity: 39.7%; and area under the curve = 0.501) or ≤15 (sensitivity: 84.4% and specificity: 23.8%). There was no difference in risk of injury for runners with a FMS score of ≤14 (15.5%) and >14 (18.8%) (P = 0.572) or with a FMS score of ≤15 (17.5%) and >15 (17.4%) (P = 0.988).

Conclusions:

Functional Movement Screening composite score may not be useful for injury prediction in populations of high school and collegiate runners.

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