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J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2002 Jan 1;16(4):153-8.

The relationship between lower extremity injury and the hip abductor to extensor strength ratio in collegiate athletes.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, UMDNJ-NJ Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA.



To determine the relationship of previous lower extremity injury and the measured ratio of hip abduction to extension strength in collegiate athletes.


Cohort study of college athletes at time of pre-participation screening physical.


An NCAA Division I college.


Two hundred and thirty-six college athletes from a NCAA Division I school (162) males and (74) females.


The ratio of maximal hip abduction to extension strength was calculated, following raw data collection with a specially designed dynamometer anchoring station. Injury to the lower extremities, in the past year, was recorded via personal interview at the time of screening and verified by review of previous injury records.


A significant difference in the ratio of hip abduction to extension strength was noted on the left lower extremity of athletes with reported lower extremity (LE) injury compared to those without injury. Upon further review of data, hip extension weakness appears to be the likely cause of this difference.


Athletes with reported lower extremity injury demonstrated a significant residual difference in the ratio of hip abduction to extension strength. This may be the result of injury related muscle weakness, altered muscle firing patterns, central inhibition or unknown compensatory strategies which all may be risk factors for recurrent injury. Further research is underway to identify the cause/effect relationship of this finding.


This study may advance our understanding of potential compensatory strategies about the hip which theoretically may result from previous lower extremity injury or injuries which are incompletely rehabilitated. Additionally, this study provides some reasoning to support the screening of hip strength during the pre-participation physical, as it may be an important factor to prevent recurrent injury.


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