Sport Sciences for Health

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 365–370 | Cite as

Anterior cruciate ligament injury in amateur football players: risk factors and return to sport after surgical reconstruction

  • F Luiso
  • C Tromponi
  • P Pozza
  • E Cavazza
  • E Vecchini
  • M Ricci
Original Article



To investigate mechanism of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, risk factors and outcome in amateur football players.


We analysed with a specific questionnaire and KOOS score 81 amateur players, at 2 years from injury and operation.


62% of athletes played like midfielders, the other 38% like defenders or strikers (p < 0.01). 83% of ACL injuries occurred in preferred leg (p < 0.01) and in 76.5% cases were due to an indirect trauma. 85% of injuries occurred during a football match. 80% of players used circular cleats (p < 0.01). G-ST graft was used in 68% and BTB in 32%. Mean injury age was 20.7 ± 2.53 years. Mean time between operation and first training was 142 ± 3.83 days and between operation and first match was 188 ± 4.45 days. Mean KOOS score at 2 years was 97.6 ± 2.14% in G-ST group and 97 ± 1.23% in BTB group (p > 0.1). They felt at about 85% of their pre-injury level with G-ST as graft and at 89% with BTB (p > 0.1).


ACL injury in amateur football athletes occurs mainly during matches and is often due to an indirect trauma. Midfielder is more at risk, especially in his preferred leg and particularly if he wears shoes with circular cleats. After recovery, first training is at about 142 days and first match at 188. KOOS score and subjective feeling of recovery show satisfactory results at 2 years from surgery.


ACL injury Football Amateur football players Return to sport 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors deny relationships or interests (financial and non) that could have direct or potential influence or impart bias on the work.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • F Luiso
    • 1
  • C Tromponi
    • 1
  • P Pozza
    • 1
  • E Cavazza
    • 1
  • E Vecchini
    • 1
  • M Ricci
    • 1
  1. 1.Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata VeronaVeronaItaly

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