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Translational Sports Medicine promotes all aspects of sports medicine by exploring the translational pathway between mechanistic research and conceptually novel insight into human exercise activities in relation to diagnosis, treatment, performance or prevention of diseases or sports injuries.
Chief Editor, Professor Michael Kjær, is the Head of the Institute of Sports Medicine Copenhagen. He researches the effect of exercise and physical activity on the body with a focus on sports injuries and what happens in the tissue when one gets injured.
Translational Sports Medicine was founded in 2018 and has been published by Hindawi as a fully open access journal since 2022 as part of a publishing collaboration with John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Content published prior to 2022 is hosted on the Wiley Online Library.
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Pathological Tendon Histology in Early and Chronic Human Patellar Tendinopathy
The present pilot study investigated the extent of histological tissue changes in both chronic tendinopathy and in individuals that display early clinical signs of tendinopathy. The study included 8 individuals of whom 3 were healthy without any tendon symptoms, 2 had early symptoms (1–2 months), and 3 had chronic symptoms (>3 months) from their patellar tendons. Percutaneous needle biopsy samples were obtained from the affected tendon tissue region. Biopsy samples were stained with Haematoxylin & Eosin, and multiplex immunofluorescence staining was performed for markers of inflammation and resolution. Both early and chronic stage patellar tendon biopsy samples from this small patient cohort exhibited expansion of the interfascicular matrix (IFM) and endotenon regions together with increased cellularity and vascularity. These histological observations were moderate in early tendinopathy, whereas they were more pronounced and associated with marked disruption of tissue architecture in chronic tendinopathy. Early stage tendinopathic patellar tendons expressed markers associated with an activated phenotype of fibroblasts (CD90, CD34), macrophages (S100A8), and endothelial cells (ICAM1, VCAM1). These tissues also expressed enzymes implicated in inflammation (PTGS2, 15PGDH) and resolution (ALOX12) and the proresolving receptor ERV1. Immunopositive staining for these markers was predominantly located in the IFM regions. These preliminary findings suggest that mild to moderate structural histological changes including expansion of IFM and endotenon regions are pathological features of early tendinopathy, and support inflammatory and resolving processes are active in early-stage disease. Further investigation of the cellular and molecular basis of early-stage tendinopathy is required to inform therapeutic strategies that prevent the development of irreversible chronic tendon disease.
Biceps Femoris Fascicle Lengths Increase after Hamstring Injury Rehabilitation to a Greater Extent in the Injured Leg
Objectives. Document changes in fascicle length during rehabilitation from hamstring injury of the injured and uninjured legs and secondarily to describe any association between these changes and reinjury rate. Design. Multicentre case series. Methods. Fifty-two prospectively included hamstring injured athletes had their biceps femoris long head fascicle lengths measured at the start and end of rehabilitation using two-dimensional ultrasound. Absolute and relative changes in fascicle length were compared for each leg using linear mixed models. Participants were followed for six months after being cleared to return to sport for any reinjury. Fascicle lengths and rehabilitation duration were compared for those who reinjured and those who did not. Results. Injured leg fascicle length was shorter at the start of rehabilitation (9.1 cm compared to 9.8 cm, ) but underwent greater absolute and relative lengthening during rehabilitation to 11.1 cm (18% increase) compared to 10.2 cm (8% increase, ) for the uninjured leg. There were no significant differences in any fascicle length parameter for the 5 participants who reinjured in the 6 months following their return to sport compared to those that did not reinjure. Conclusions. While both injured and uninjured legs displayed increases in fascicle length during rehabilitation, the larger fascicle length increases in the injured leg suggest that either a different training stimulus was applied during rehabilitation to each leg or there was a different response to training and/or recovery from injury in the injured leg. Reinjury risk appears to be independent of fascicle length changes in this cohort, but the small number of reinjuries makes any conclusions speculative.
Effects of High and Low Training Volume with the Nordic Hamstring Exercise on Hamstring Strength, Jump Height, and Sprint Performance in Female Football Players: A Randomised Trial
The evidence-based hamstring strengthening programme for prevention of hamstring injuries is not adopted by football teams because of its high training volume. This study on female football players investigated if high-volume training with the Nordic hamstring exercise is more effective on hamstring strength, jump height, and sprint performance than low-volume training. We also examined the time course of changes in muscle strength during the intervention period. Forty-five female football players were randomised to a high- (21 sessions, 538 total reps) or low-volume group (10 sessions, 144 total reps) and performed an 8-week training intervention with the Nordic hamstring exercise during the preseason. We tested hamstring strength (maximal eccentric force with NordBord and maximal eccentric torque with isokinetic dynamometer), jump height, and 40 m sprint before and after the intervention. The NordBord test was also performed during training weeks 4 and 6. Both groups increased maximal eccentric force (high-volume: 29 N (10%), 95% CI: 19–38 N, , low-volume: 37 N (13%), 95% CI: 18–55 N, ), but there were no between-group differences (). Maximal eccentric torque, jump height, and sprint performance did not change. Maximal eccentric force increased from the pretest to week 6 (20 N (7%), 95% CI: 8 to 31 N, ), but not week 4 (8 N (3%), 95% CI: −2 to 18 N, ). High training volume with the Nordic hamstrings exercise did not lead to greater adaptations in strength, jump height, or speed than a low-volume programme. Players in both groups had to train for at least 6 weeks to improve maximal eccentric force significantly.
The Distal Free Achilles Tendon Is Longer in People with Tendinopathy than in Controls: A Retrospective Case-Control Study
Objectives. The free Achilles tendon is defined as the region of tendon distal to the soleus which is “unbuttressed,” i.e., unsupported by muscular tissue. We reasoned that a relative lack of distal buttressing could place the tendon at a greater risk for developing Achilles tendinopathy. Therefore, our primary goal was to compare the free Achilles tendon length between those with midportion or insertional Achilles tendinopathy and healthy controls. Design. This is a retrospective case-control study. Setting. Hospital in Vancouver, Canada. Participants. 66 cases with Achilles tendinopathy (25 insertional, 41 midportion) consecutively drawn from a hospital database within a 5-year period and matched to 66 controls (without tendinopathy) based on sex, age, and weight. Main outcome measures. Odds ratio of the risk of developing Achilles tendinopathy given the length of free tendon, defined anatomically on MRI, after adjustment for confounders. Results. MRI-defined free Achilles tendon length is a statistically significant predictor of having midportion Achilles tendinopathy (odds ratio = 0.53, 95% confidence interval 1.13 to 2.07). Midportion Achilles tendinopathy cases had significantly longer free tendons (Mdn = 51.2 mm, IQR = 26.9 mm) compared to controls (Mdn = 40.8 mm, IQR = 20.0 mm), . However, there was no significant difference between the free Achilles tendon lengths in insertional AT cases (Mdn = 47.9 mm, IQR = 15.1 mm) and controls (Mdn = 39.2 mm, IQR = 17.9 mm), . Free Achilles tendon length was also correlated with the tendon thickness among those with Achilles tendinopathy, rτ = 0.25, and . Conclusions. The MRI-defined length of the free Achilles tendon is positively associated with the risk of midportion Achilles tendinopathy. A relative lack of distal muscular buttressing of the Achilles tendon may therefore influence the development of tendinopathy.
The Epidemiology of Youth Sport-Related Shoulder Injuries: A Systematic Review
Background. Youth around the globe place their shoulders at risk for injury when participating in sports. Shoulder injuries may vary in severity, produce the potential for time-loss from sport, and result in functional disability. We sought to explore sport-related shoulder injuries in youth by identifying injury rates, risk factors, injury mechanisms, and injury prevention strategies. Methods. All relevant full-text articles were identified by searching MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Sport Discus, and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Registry. No date restrictions were used. All full-text studies reporting original research describing sport-related shoulder injury among female and/or male youth from 5 to 18 years old were included. Results. Of 3,889 studies screened, 97 described shoulder injury in youth sports. Shoulder injuries were identified in 24 unique sports. The median seasonal prevalence of shoulder injury was 10.9% (range 1.2–28.2%). The most common injury mechanisms identified were contacted with another player, contact with the playing environment, and falling to the ground. Risk factors for shoulder injury identified were side-to-side strength imbalances, weak external rotator muscles, and scapular dyskinesia. One study evaluated a successful training strategy to prevent shoulder injuries, but two other interventions demonstrated no effect. Conclusions. Sport-related shoulder injuries are prevalent among youth athletes. Injury risk factors identified included modifiable intrinsic factors such as strength, range of motion, and training load. The most common injury mechanism was direct contact with either another person or an object in the playing environment. Innovative shoulder-specific strategies are needed to reduce shoulder injuries in this population. Trial Registration: PROSPERO ID: CRD42020189142.
Persistent Deficits after an Achilles Tendon Rupture: A Narrative Review
Persistent muscle weakness, tendon elongation, and incomplete return to preinjury level are frequent sequelae after acute Achilles tendon rupture, and evidence-based knowledge of how to best rehabilitate the injury is largely absent in the literature. The objective of this review is to illuminate and discuss to what extent an Achilles tendon rupture affects muscle, tendon, and function when assessed with the Achilles tendon total rupture score (ATRS), muscle strength, muscle cross-sectional area, tendon length, and the heel-rise test. The patient-reported outcome measures (PROM) data in the literature suggest that the recovery takes longer than 6 months (ATRS, 70 out of 100), that one-year postinjury, the ATRS only reaches 82, and that this does not appear to noticeably improve thereafter. Loss of muscle mass, strength, and function can in some cases be permanent. Over the first 6 months postinjury, the tendon undergoes elongation, which appears to be negatively correlated to heel-rise function. More recently, there has been some interest in how muscle length and excursion is related to the reduced function. The available literature indicates that further research is highly warranted and that efforts to restore normal tendon length may improve the likelihood of returning to preinjury level after an Achilles tendon rupture.