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J Sports Sci. 2013;31(6):684-7. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2012.747691. Epub 2012 Dec 6.

Tissue mass ratios and the reporting of distal lower extremity injuries in varsity athletes at a Canadian University.

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  • 1Western University, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, London, Ontario, Canada.


The purpose of this preliminary investigation was to determine the relative role of the distal lower extremity tissue masses of varsity athletes in predicting distal lower extremity injury sustained during a competitive season. One hundred male and female varsity athletes (basketball, volleyball, soccer, cross country) completed a questionnaire on general health, physiological, and psychosocial variables, during each sport's respective training camp. A series of anthropometric measurements were used as inputs to distal lower extremity tissue mass prediction equations to calculate lean mass, fat mass, bone mineral content and wobbling mass (lean mass + fat mass) and tissue mass ratios. Athletes were monitored throughout their respective seasons and were instructed to report any distal lower extremity injuries to a certified athletic therapist who was responsible for assessing and confirming the reports. Logistic regression analyses were performed to determine which variables significantly predicted distal lower extremity injury. Mean leg fat mass:bone mass (OR = 1.6, CI = 1.0 - 2.5), and competition surface (rubber OR = 8.5, CI = 1.5 - 47.7; artificial turf OR = 4.0, CI = 0.77 - 22.9) were identified as significant predictors of injury. Overall, tibia bone injuries were significantly associated with the ratio of fat mass:bone mineral content and the surface on which the athletes compete.

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