Medial tibial stress syndrome: The relationship between gender and lower-extremity functional performance among collegiate track and field athletes

Megan E. Sievers BA, Andrew M. Busch EdD, CSCS

Ohio Wesleyan University.

Medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) is a common lower extremity injury in track and field athletes. Many risk factors are associated with MTSS, and lower extremity performance may become altered in athletes suffering from prior symptoms, potentially increasing risk of future injury. The purpose of this study was to first examine the effect a prior history of MTSS has on lower-extremity measures, per gender, in collegiate level track and field athletes, and then determine if such measures predict future injury. Fifty-three healthy Division III collegiate track and field athletes (mean age = 19.40 ± 1.13 years) completed an injury history questionnaire along with five preseason lower-extremity functional tests including: ankle dorsiflexion (DF), single-leg anterior reach (SLAR), two timed single-leg balance (SLBAL) tests on a force plate, and single-leg hop for distance (SLH). Performance data were compared across gender and questionnaire data regarding injury history and occurrence of MTSS. Fifteen subjects (28%) reported previous MTSS symptoms within the last 2 years. Chi-square analyses revealed females experienced more diagnoses compared to males (p = .03). Independent t-tests revealed differences between gender on all SLBAL tests, as males performed better on all recorded measures (p < .001 – p = .003). No significant differences were noted in lower-extremity performance tests between subjects with and without prior MTSS injuries. Regression analyses using postseason injury questionnaire data revealed prior MTSS injuries had 17.3 higher odds of experiencing MTSS during the season (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 17.33, 95% CI: 3.5 – 86.4; p = .001).

Keywords: Center-of-pressure excursion; Force plate; Movement system; Y-balance test; Track and field

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Megan E. Sievers, Andrew M. Busch. Medial tibial stress syndrome: The relationship between gender and lower-extremity functional performance among collegiate track and field athletes. International Journal of Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2021; 4:16. DOI: 10.28933/ijsmr-2020-12-0805


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