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Clinical predictors of time to return to competition and of recurrence following hamstring strain in elite Australian footballers

Price Warren, Belinda J Gabbe, Michal Schneider-Kolsky, Kim L Bennell
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2010, 44 (6): 415-9

OBJECTIVE: To investigate early clinical predictors of time to return to competition and of recurrence following hamstring strain.

DESIGN: Prospective observational study.

SETTING: Elite level of Australian football competition.

PARTICIPANT: 59 players who suffered a hamstring strain in 2002 season.

PREDICTORS: Clinical assessment by a physiotherapist and questionnaire.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Time taken to return to play and recurrence of hamstring injury within 3 weeks.

RESULTS: Players taking more than 1 day to walk pain-free were significantly more likely (p=0.018) to take longer than 3 weeks to return to competition (adjusted odds ratio 4.0; 95% CI 1.3 to 12.6). Nine players (15.2%) experienced an injury recurrence, all involving the biceps femoris. Recurrence was more likely in players who reported a hamstring injury in the past 12 months (adjusted odds ratio 19.6; 95% CI 1.5 to 261.0; p=0.025).

CONCLUSION: Time to walk pain-free and previous hamstring injury are predictors of time to return to competition and recurrence, respectively, and should be included in a clinical assessment to aid in prognosis.

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