AN EXAMINATION OF RETURN TO PLAY CRITERIA FOR KNEE STRENGTH 1Nl EXPERIENCED SOCCER PLAYERS

  • John W. Chow
  • Dana M. Otzel
  • Mark D. Tillman

Abstract

Clinicians often use isokinetic strength exercises in the rehabilitation of lower extremity injuries. Isokinetic testing scores are often used as criterion to determine the progression within a rehabilitation protocol as well as the suitability of the patient to return to sport participation. For example, Shelbourne, Klootwyk, and De Carlo (1995) suggested that once the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructed extremity achieves 70% of the strength of the uninjured leg, the patient is allowed to engage in sport-specific activities and begin the progression toward competitive participation. A criterion like this would be a valid standard assuming no strength differences exist between limbs. Few bilateral differences in lower extremity strength exist in most sedentary individuals or athletes participating in bilaterally symmetrical lower extremity activities. However, soccer players usually have tendencies to use one leg more than the other for dribbling, shooting and performing long kicks. As a result, soccer can be characterized as an asymmetrical lower extremity activity. If bilateral strength differences exist, then appropriate adjustments should be made for return to activity standards. This study examined whether differences existed in isokinetic knee f1exion and extension strength between the dominant and non-dominant legs in experienced soccer players.
Published
2008-03-12