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Injury prevention programs including balance exercises with compliance and follow-up reduce the incidence of knee injuries in athletes: a systematic review and meta-analysis [with consumer summary]
Al Attar WSA, Ghulam H, Al Arifi S, Alomar AI, Alhosaini S, Alharbi S, Alraddadi Y, Sanders RH
Isokinetics and Exercise Science 2023;31(3):157-169
systematic review

BACKGROUND: The knee is one of the most common injuries in sports. However, the incidence of knee injuries can be decreased by enhancing balance and neuromuscular control. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate how injury prevention programs (IPPs) that include balance training influence knee injury rates in athletes. METHODS: Data were obtained from different databases (1985 to 2021). Only randomised controlled trials that used IPPs that include balance training, were considered. Two investigators extracted data from the qualifying documents. The critical outcome data elements derived from the included studies were the number of ACL/knee injuries, ACL/knee injury rates, exposure hours, compliance rate, and follow-up duration. RESULTS: Compared to the control groups, those who participated in the IPP had a 54% lower risk of knee injuries per 1000 hours of exposure (IRR 0.457 (95% CI 0.346 to 0.603), p = 0.001) and a 60% lower risk of ACL injuries per 1000 hours of exposure (IRR 0.401 (95% CI 0.215 to 0.750), p = 0.004). CONCLUSIONS: IPPs that include balance training may reduce the risk of knee injuries.

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