Hamstring Injuries in Taekwondo: InjuryPatterns and Performance FollowingConservative Therapy-A Case Series InvolvingFour Elite Athlete by Markus Gesslein in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Open Access Journal (OSMOAJ) in Lupine Publishers
Background: Hamstring injuries frequently occur in sports involving explosive movement patterns and can cause lengthy downtimes. Data on hamstring injuries in Taekwondo is completely lacking. In a case study with four top Taekwondo athletes we describe the specific characteristics of this type of injury, the resulting downtimes and the athletes’ performance following conservative treatment, for the first time.
Methods: In a retrospective study, the hamstring injuries of four top international athletes were examined. Injuries were diagnosed by means of MRI. All injuries were classified according to severity and given an MRI score (min. 3, max. 19 points). Performance parameters for assessment included the number match points achieved in the 12 months prior to and following injury, tournament participation and downtime. Recurrent ruptures and contra lateral injuries were also taken into consideration.
Results: Athletes were aged between 16 and 25 (average age 20.3 years).Injuries were exclusively proximal ruptures. The MRI score was between 5 and 9 (mean value 6.5 points). All injuries involved the semi membranous muscle. Ruptures did not extend significantly into the cross-section of the muscle. Manifestation of all injuries in the MRI was without retraction. The average downtime before returning to competition was 69.2 days. The number of match points gained in the 12 months following injury dropped by an average of 19.8. Two athletes suffered recurrent ruptures and two had contra lateral ruptures.
Conclusion: The most frequent form of hamstring injuries in Taekwondo appears to be the stretching type. They result in downtime and a considerable decline in performance. The high incidence of ruptures and the contralateral ruptures within the subsequent year emphasises the extreme biomechanical strain on this muscle group. Parameters are needed to determine the best time to return to the competitive level following conservative therapy.
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