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The three-dimensional reconstruction of an Achilles tendon rupture in a professional football player reveals a multiplanar injury mechanism


Achilles tendon rupture (ATR) is a rare although very serious injury for football players; currently, studies on ATR in football are scant. This case report intends to firstly describe the situational pattern and three-dimensional mechanism of the ATR injury occurred to a professional football player during the last UEFA 2020 Championship. To reconstruct the full 3D joint kinematics throughout the injury action, the model-based image-matching technique was used. The key findings were: (i) ATR injury combined a sudden ankle dorsiflexion action with an internal plantarflexion moment while performing a crossover cut at high speed; (ii) a multi-planar loading occurred during the push-off phase.

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Authors and Affiliations



FDV helped in conceptualization, formal analysis, writing—original draft preparation, writing—review and editing; FE contributed to supervision, writing—review and editing; MB performed investigation, formal analysis; SS was involved in methodology, software; MZ helped in data curation, visualization, writing—original draft preparation, formal analysis. All authors have read and agreed to the current version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Francesco Della Villa.

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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All the videos that we accessed are publicly available, and data were treated confidentially. No personal player information was accessed; thus, similarly to previous similar studies, ethical permission was not required.

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Della Villa, F., Esposito, F., Busà, M. et al. The three-dimensional reconstruction of an Achilles tendon rupture in a professional football player reveals a multiplanar injury mechanism. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc (2022).

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  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • football
  • biomechanics
  • injury mechanism
  • prevention