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Sports Med. 2014 Oct;44(10):1403-26. doi: 10.1007/s40279-014-0216-4.

Effect of interventions on potential, modifiable risk factors for knee injury in team ball sports: a systematic review.

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Center for Human Movement Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.



Knee injuries are one of the most common types of injuries in team ball sports, and prevention is crucial because of health and economic implications. To set up effective prevention programs, these programs must be designed to target potential, modifiable risk factors. In addition, it is essential to evaluate the effects of these prevention programs.


The purpose of this study was to provide an overview of the effect of prevention programs on potential, modifiable risk factors for knee injuries in team ball sports.


A systematic review was performed in PUBMED (1978 to December 2013), EMBASE (1973 to December 2013), and CINAHL (1992 to December 2013). The titles, abstracts, and full texts were analyzed according to predefined inclusion criteria to find relevant studies.


Neuromuscular control training with plyometric and agility exercises with addition of instructions reduced knee valgus angles and moments in female athletes. Knee flexion angles and moments were enhanced by plyometric and resistance exercises with augmented feedback (verbal or video). The specificity of the exercises must match the task that needs to be improved. Hamstring/quadricep strength ratio and hamstring strength may be improved by isolated hamstring exercises.


Various training components are required to reduce the risk of knee injury. Neuromuscular control training and the use of instructions/feedback (verbal or video) seem promising. However, attention should be given to the target populations and the specificity of the programs. More research is needed with respect to reducing risk factors in male athletes as well as in children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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