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Neuromuscular Risk Factors for Knee and Ankle Ligament Injuries in Male Youth Soccer Players


Injuries reported in male youth soccer players most commonly occur in the lower extremities, and include a high proportion of ligament sprains at the ankle and knee with a lower proportion of overuse injuries. There is currently a paucity of available literature that examines age- and sex-specific injury risk factors for such injuries within youth soccer players. Epidemiological data have reported movements that lead to non-contact ligament injury include running, twisting and turning, over-reaching and landing. Altered neuromuscular control during these actions has been suggested as a key mechanism in females and adult populations; however, data available in male soccer players is sparse. The focus of this article is to review the available literature and elucidate prevalent risk factors pertaining to male youth soccer players which may contribute to their relative risk of injury.

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Correspondence to Paul J. Read.

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No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this article. One author (Gregory Myer) would like to acknowledge funding support from National Institutes of Health Grants R21-AR065068.

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Paul Read, Jon Oliver, Mark de Ste Croix, Gregory Myer and Rhodri Lloyd declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this review.

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Read, P.J., Oliver, J.L., De Ste Croix, M.B.A. et al. Neuromuscular Risk Factors for Knee and Ankle Ligament Injuries in Male Youth Soccer Players. Sports Med 46, 1059–1066 (2016).

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  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
  • Medial Collateral Ligament
  • Soccer Player
  • Injury Risk