Preseason Functional Test Scores Are Associated With Future Sports Injury in Female Collegiate Athletes
Brumitt, J, Heiderscheit, B, Manske, R, Niemuth, PE, Mattocks, A, and Rauh, MJ. Preseason functional test scores are associated with future sports injury in female collegiate athletes. J Strength Cond Res 32(6): 1692–1701, 2018—Recent prospective cohort studies have reported preseason functional performance test (FPT) measures and associations with future risk of injury; however, the findings associated with these studies have been equivocal. The purpose of this study was to determine the ability of a battery of FPTs as a preseason screening tool to identify female Division III (D III) collegiate athletes who may be at risk for a noncontact time-loss injury to the lower quadrant (LQ = low back and lower extremities). One hundred six female D III athletes were recruited for this study. Athletes performed 3 FPTs: standing long jump (SLJ), single-leg hop (SLH) for distance, and the lower extremity functional test (LEFT). Time-loss sport-related injuries were tracked during the season. Thirty-two (24 initial and 8 subsequent) time-loss LQ injuries were sustained during the study. Ten of the 24 initial injuries occurred at the thigh and knee. At-risk athletes with suboptimal FPT measures (SLJ ≤79% ht; (B) SLH ≤64% ht; LEFT ≥118 seconds) had significantly greater rates of initial (7.2 per 1,000 athletic exposures [AEs]) and total (7.6 per 1,000 AEs) time-loss thigh or knee injuries than the referent group (0.9 per 1,000 AEs; 1.0 per 1,000 AEs, respectively). At-risk athletes were 9 times more likely to experience a thigh or knee injury (odds ratio [OR] = 9.7, confidence interval [CI]: 2.3–39.9; p = 0.002) than athletes in the referent group. At-risk athletes with a history of LQ sports injury and lower off-season training habits had an 18-fold increased risk of a time-loss thigh or knee injury during the season (adjusted OR = 18.7, CI: 3.0–118.1; p = 0.002). This battery of FPTs appears useful as a tool for identifying female D III athletes at risk of an LQ injury, especially to the thigh or knee region.