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BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2019 Oct 15;5(1):e000505. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2018-000505. eCollection 2019.

Italian consensus statement (2020) on return to play after lower limb muscle injury in football (soccer).

Author information

1
Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar.
2
Humanitas Clinical Institute, Rozzano, Milano, Italy.
3
FC Internazionale Milano, Milano, Milano, Italy.
4
Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy.
5
Centro Traumatologico Ortopedico, Torino, Piemonte, Italy.
6
Universita degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy.
7
UOS Angiografia e Radiologia Interventistica, Ospedale delle Apuane, Massa Carrara, Massa Carrara, Italy.
8
Istituto Clinico Villa Aprica, Como, Italy.
9
Istituto Clinico Sant'Anna, Brescia, Italy.
10
Kinemove Rehabilitation Center, Pontremoli, Italy.
11
Feralpisalò Srl, Salò, Brescia, Italy.
12
Atalanta BC, Bergamo, Italy.
13
Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Neuromotorie, Università Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
14
Brescia Calcio, Brescia, Italy.
15
US Giana Erminio, Gorgonzola, Milano, Italy.
16
Ospedale Koelliker, Torino, Italy.
17
Istituto di Medicina dello Sport di Torino, Torino, Italy.
18
Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milano, Italy.
19
Azienda Ospedaliera di Rilievo Nazionale "Cardarelli", Napoli, Italy.
20
Paris St Germain FC, Paris, France.
21
Physiotherapy, Studio Riabilita, Civitanova Marche, Italy.
22
Universita Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Roma, Italy.
23
University Hospital of Padova, Padua, Italy.
24
Azienda USL Toscana nord ovest Sede di Lucca, Lucca, Italy.
25
DXBone Fifa Medical Center of Excellence, Dubai, UAE.
26
Ente Ospedaliero Ospedali Galliera, Genova, Italy.
27
Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche di Base, Neuroscienze e Organi di Senso, Università di Bari, Bari, Italy.
28
FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence, Bologna, Isokinetic Medical Group, Bologna, Italy.
29
Bologna FC, Bologna, Italy.
30
Universita degli Studi di Brescia, Brescia, Italy.
31
Universita degli Studi Gabriele d'Annunzio Chieti e Pescara, Chieti, Italy.
32
Ospedale SS Annunziata, Chieti, Italy.
33
Parma Calcio, Parma, Italy.
34
Studio Radiologico Pasta, Parma, Italy.
35
Centro Kinetik, Rogno (BG), Italy.
36
Istituto Clinico San Rocco, Ome, Italy.
37
Universita degli Studi di Foggia, Foggia, Italy.
38
Studio FKT Tenconi, Genova, Italy.
39
Centro Diagnostico Apuano, Carrara, Italy.
40
Ospedale San Francesco d'Assisi, Oliveto Citra, Italy.
41
Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, Italy.
42
Universita degli Studi del Molise, Campobasso, Italy.
43
Villa Maria Cecilia, Cotignola, Italy.
44
Physio Traininig, Brescia, Italy.
45
Research Lab, National Center of Science and Sports Medicine Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia.

Abstract

Return to play (RTP) decisions in football are currently based on expert opinion. No consensus guideline has been published to demonstrate an evidence-based decision-making process in football (soccer). Our aim was to provide a framework for evidence-based decision-making in RTP following lower limb muscle injuries sustained in football. A 1-day consensus meeting was held in Milan, on 31 August 2018, involving 66 national and international experts from various academic backgrounds. A narrative review of the current evidence for RTP decision-making in football was provided to delegates. Assembled experts came to a consensus on the best practice for managing RTP following lower limb muscle injuries via the Delphi process. Consensus was reached on (1) the definitions of 'return to training' and 'return to play' in football. We agreed on 'return to training' and RTP in football, the appropriate use of clinical and imaging assessments, and laboratory and field tests for return to training following lower limb muscle injury, and identified objective criteria for RTP based on global positioning system technology. Level of evidence IV, grade of recommendation D.

KEYWORDS:

fitness testing; lower limb; muscle injury; return to play; soccer; sporting injuries

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