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Phys Ther Sport. 2009 Aug;10(3):91-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2009.03.001. Epub 2009 Apr 3.

Hypermobility, injury rate and rehabilitation in a professional football squad--a preliminary study.

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UCL Training Ground, London Colney, Hertfordshire AL2 1BZ, UK.



To determine if joint hypermobility is a risk factor for injury in a professional football squad. Primary objectives were to estimate the prevalence of hypermobility amongst a professional football squad and to undertake an audit of injuries sustained over a season. Secondary objectives were to relate the injury audit findings and hypermobility levels to time missed through injury, assessed by training days and competitive first team games missed after musculo-skeletal injury.


Increasing levels of joint hypermobility may result in an increased risk of injury in a contact sport such as professional football.


A prospective observational study consisting of the Beighton joint hypermobility screen and an injury audit (season 2007/8).


A second tier, English professional football club.


Thirty-three male professional footballers aged 18-35 years.


The Beighton joint hypermobility screen and a seasonal injury audit.


The prevalence of joint hypermobility was found to be between 21 and 42% depending on the cut-off score used for the Beighton scale. Similar injury rates were found in both the hypermobile and non-hypermobile participants (6.2 as compared to 6.3 injuries/1000 h exposure respectively). Once injured, the hypermobile group showed a tendency towards missing more competitive first team games (12 as compared to 5/season in non-hypermobiles) and training days (71 as compared to 31 days/season in non-hypermobiles). These findings were not statistically significant.


The prevalence of joint hypermobility in a cohort of professional footballers is comparable to previous studies in athletic populations and is dependent upon which Beighton cut-off score is selected. It may be inferred from this preliminary study that the return to play timescales in hypermobile individuals may be extended so as to minimise the potential risk of re-injury and limit the socioeconomic costs associated with time out of competition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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