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Epidemiology of anterior cruciate ligament injury in Spanish female rugby players
Author(s):
Besalduch Marina (Spain)
,
Besalduch Marina (Spain)
Affiliations:
Rico Verónica
Rico Verónica
Affiliations:
ESSKA Academy. BESALDUCH M. May 9, 2018; 209349; P04-1652 Topic: Sports Related Injuries
Ms. Marina BESALDUCH
Ms. Marina BESALDUCH
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Abstract
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Objectives: To undertake an epidemiological study of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in Spanish female rugby players, in order to define their nature, graft choice and return to sport.

Methods: An online survey was sent to all Spanish rugby female clubs to be answered by players who had sustained an ACL injury during rugby-related activities and had been treated surgically within a minimum follow-up of 8 months. We retrospectivaly assessed age when the accident occurred, mechanism of injury, player position and type of competition. We also evaluated the type of graft used in the surgery, associated injuries and time to return to sport. Preventive programmes, re-injury (of ACL graft or contralateral ACL), Lysholm score and Tegner activity level were also estimated.

Results: The survey was answered by 75 players with an average age of 24.5±5.6 years old and a body mass index of 23.8±3.1. Fifty-six percent suffered a non-contact injury. Most lesions occurred in rugby union activity (65.3%), in back players (54.7%) and in official matches (58.9%).
In approximately 50% of the cases, a hamstring autograft was used, followed by 36.6% of patellar tendon autograft,. The patients underwent ACL reconstruction in a mean of 5.9±12.8 months after the injury.
Sixty-one percent had associated lesions (most frequently medial meniscus tear).
Eighty-eight percent of the patients returned to competition in an average of 12.1±10.1 months. Only 12 players reported injury preventive programmes carried out at their clubs.
Ipsilateral graft and contralateral ACL rupture occurred in 9.3% and 13.3% of the cases, with 19 and 51.5 months mean time between lesions, respectively. Of those with an ipsilateral graft retear, 71.4% had previously presented associated lesions.
At final follow up the patients had an Lysholm score of 85.9 and Tegner level drop from 8.8 to 8.2.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that in Spanish rugby players, most ACL ruptures occur in official matches with non contact mechanisms and with associated ligament or meniscal lesions. Most of the patient with a graft tear, had associated injuries with the first injury. There was a slight decrease in the Tegner level.

Keywords:
ACL, rugby, women
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