Functional performance deficits in athletes with previous lower extremity injury

Scott F. Nadler, Gerard A. Malanga, Joseph H. Feinberg, Mariam Rubanni, Peter Moley, Patrick Foye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the influence of previously treated, though clinically resolved, lower extremity injury on performance in a timed 20-meter shuttle run. Design: Case control study. Setting: National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college during the 2000/2001 preparticipation physicals. Participants: NCAA Division I athletes (n = 213) participated in this research study. Athletes were excluded if they presently had an unresolved lower extremity injury or low back pain. Main Outcome Measures: Time to complete a 20-meter shuttle run was recorded. Previous lower extremity injury and college year were recorded via a short questionnaire. Results: A significantly slower response time on the 20-meter shuttle run was observed in freshman athletes with a history of a lower extremity injury, as compared with freshmen without a previous injury (p = 0.01). No significant difference was noted in nonfreshman collegiate athletes regardless of injury history (p = 0.98). Conclusion: Kinetic chain deficits may exist long after symptomatic recovery from injury resulting in functional deficits, which may be missed on a standard physical assessment. The slower shuttle run times observed in freshmen with previous lower extremity injury may be a manifestation of insufficient treatment received at the high school level or the benefit of a mandatory core strengthening program in returning athletes. Further study is necessary to identify and validate the cause-and-effect relationship. Clinical Relevance: This study may support residual functional deficits in incoming college athletes, which may be related to inadequate care in the high school setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-78
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Journal of Sport Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


  • Athletes
  • Core strengthening
  • Injury
  • Kinetic chain
  • Lower extremity
  • Shuttle run


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