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Hamstring injury recovery time well predicted by knee range of motion


Tags: diagnosis, self-treatment, exercise, running, strain, treatment, injury, pain problems, muscle

PainSci summary of Malliaropoulos 2010?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★★☆?4-star ratings are for bigger/better studies and reviews published in more prestigious journals, with only quibbles. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This paper identified an “objective and accurate measurement” of recovery time in 165 track and field athletes with posterior thigh muscle injuries. The researchers checked the athletes’ knee range of motion, compared it to uninjured athletes throughout recovery, and found a strong correlation with recovery time: the more knee range was limited, the longer the recovery. Specifically, 80% of athletes returned to full performance in 2 weeks, but those who lost more than 30˚of knee movement took an average of six weeks to recover.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstractAbstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

INTRODUCTION: Posterior thigh muscle injuries in athletes are common, and prediction of recovery time would be of value.

HYPOTHESIS: Knee active range of motion deficit 48 hours after a unilateral posterior thigh muscle injury correlates with time to full recovery.

STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study (prognosis); Level of evidence, 2.

METHODS: One hundred sixty-five track and field athletes with acute, first-time, unilateral posterior thigh muscle injuries were prospectively evaluated regarding knee active range of motion deficit. This was compared with the uninjured side 48 hours after injury. A control group was also examined. Ultrasound was used to image the muscle lesion. All athletes were managed nonoperatively with the same rehabilitation protocol. The "full rehabilitation time" (interval from the injury to full athletic activities) was recorded.

RESULTS: Range of motion of the affected leg was decreased in the 165 injured athletes compared with the uninjured side and the control group. Sonography identified abnormalities in 55% (90 of 165) of the injured athletes. The biceps femoris was the most commonly affected muscle (68 of 90 [75%]). The musculotendinous junction (proximal or distal) was involved in 93% (85 of 90) of lesions. Eighty-one percent (133 of 165) of athletes had active range of motion deficit of less than 20 degrees, and had returned to full performance at 2 weeks. In 6 of 165 athletes (3.6%), with active range of motion deficit of more than 30 degrees, recovery time exceeded 6 weeks, with a significant correlation between full rehabilitation time and active range of motion deficit (chi(2) = 152.560; P = .0001).

CONCLUSION: Knee active range of motion deficit is an objective and accurate measurement, predicting recovery time in elite athletes.

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