Fitness level is impaired in professional soccer players with anterior cruciate ligament injury

Adriano Marques de Almeida, Paulo Roberto Santos Silva, André Pedrinelli, Arnaldo J Hernandez

Overview

The anterior cruciate injury affects sports activity and not only knee function, but also an athlete's fitness levels. These capacities must be recovered before unrestrained return to sports activities. Otherwise, their performance would be lower and their risk of reinjury higher.

Summary

When performing an ACL reconstruction in athletes, our ultimate goal is their return to sport at previous levels. This goal demands not only adequate knee function, but also proper strength, confidence, and fitness. We decided to assess aerobic capacity in professional soccer players after ACL reconstruction. We hypothesized that their fitness level would be significantly lower compared to a control group of players.

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Author Comments

Dr. Adriano Marques Almeida, MD, MsC
Dr. Adriano Marques Almeida, MD, MsC
Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo
Collaborate Professor
Orthopedics, Knee Surgery, Sports Medicine
São Paulo, SP | Brazil
Aerobic fitness, assessed by VO2max, is impaired in soccer players with an ACL injury and persists six months after reconstruction, with standard rehabilitation. Although it seems pretty logical, it is seldom measured, and patients, doctors, physical therapists, trainers, and coaches expect that the athlete will return to play at the same level when released to full sports activities. We observe that this is not true for at least 40% of the cases, despite the success of the surgical procedure. We showed that VO2max must be included as criteria for full sports activities return in high demand athletes.Dr. Adriano Marques Almeida, MD, MsC

Resources

Open Access paper
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0194432

Aerobic fitness in professional soccer players after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

Authors:
Dr. Adriano Marques Almeida, MD, MsC
Dr. Adriano Marques Almeida, MD, MsC
Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo
Collaborate Professor
Orthopedics, Knee Surgery, Sports Medicine
São Paulo, SP | Brazil

PLoS One 2018 22;13(3):e0194432. Epub 2018 Mar 22.

Sports Medicine Discipline, Instituto de Ortopedia e Traumatologia, Hospital das Clínicas HCFMUSP, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil.

Although anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is considered a successful procedure in restoring knee stability, few studies have addressed the issue of aerobic capacity after ACL surgery. Soccer players need technical, tactical and physical skills to succeed, such as good knee function and aerobic capacity. Our purpose is to evaluate aerobic fitness in ACL injured professional football players and six months after ACL reconstruction compared to a control group. Twenty athletes with ACL injury were evaluated and underwent ACL reconstruction with hamstrings autograft, and were compared to twenty healthy professional soccer players. The methods used to evaluate aerobic fitness were maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) and ventilatory thresholds with a treadmill protocol, before and six months after surgery, compared to a control group. Knee function questionnaires, isokinetic strength testing and body composition evaluation were also performed.

Results: Median ACL-injured patients age was 21 years old, and controls 20.5 years old. (n.s.). Preoperative VO2max in the ACL injured group was 45.2 ± 4.3 mL/kg/min, postoperative 48.9 ± 3.8 mL/kg/min and controls 56.9 ± 4.2 mL/kg/min. (p< .001 in all comparisons). Body composition evaluation was similar in all situations. Knee function questionnaires and quadriceps peak torque deficit improved after surgery but were significantly lower compared to controls.

Conclusion: Aerobic fitness is significantly reduced in professional soccer players with ACL injury, and six months of rehabilitation was not enough to restore aerobic function after ACL reconstruction, compared to non-injured players of the same level.

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Source
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0194432PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5864031PMC
July 2018
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References

(Supplied by CrossRef)
Severe Injuries in Football Players Influencing Factors
J Chomiak et al.
The American Journal of Sports Medicine 2000
Physiology of soccer: an update
T Stolen et al.
Sports Med 2005

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