Little is known about the prevalence and associated of morbidity of tendon problems. With only severe cases of tendon problems missing games, players that have their training and performance impacted are not captured by traditional injury surveillance. The aim of this study was to report the prevalence of Achilles and patellar tendon problems in elite male Australian football players using the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre (OSTRC) overuse questionnaire, compared to a time-loss definition. Male athletes from 12 professional Australian football teams were invited to complete a monthly questionnaire over a 9-month period in the 2016 pre- and competitive season. The OSTRC overuse injury questionnaire was used to measure the prevalence and severity of Achilles and patellar tendon symptoms and was compared to traditional match-loss statistics. A total of 441 participants were included. Of all participants, 21.5% (95% CI: 17.9-25.6) and 25.2% (95% CI 21.3-29.4) reported Achilles or patellar tendon problems during the season, respectively. Based on the traditional match-loss definition, a combined 4.1% of participants missed games due to either Achilles or patellar tendon injury. A greater average monthly prevalence was observed during the pre-season compared to the competitive season. Achilles and patellar tendon problems are prevalent in elite male Australian football players. These injuries are not adequately captured using a traditional match-loss definition. Prevention of these injuries may be best targeted during the off- and pre-season due to higher prevalence of symptoms during the pre-season compared to during the competitive season.
Patellar tendinopathy (PT) is a leading cause of morbidity in jump-landing athletes. Landing mechanics are identified as a factor associated with PT and/or patellar tendon abnormality. This study aimed to identify key jump-landing variables associated with PT. Thirty-six junior elite basketball players (men n = 18, women n = 18) were recruited from a Basketball Australia development camp. Three-dimensional (3D) kinematic and ground reaction force (GRF) data during a stop-jump task were collected as well as ultrasound scans of the patellar tendons and recall history of training load data. Mixed-model factorial analyses of variance were used to determine any significant between-group differences. Of the 23 participants included for statistical analyses, 11 had normal bilateral patellar tendons (controls) and eight reported PT (currently symptomatic); however, the four participants categorized as asymptomatic with patellar tendon abnormality on diagnostic imaging were excluded from statistical analyses due to their small sample size. Athletes with PT displayed a similar knee flexion angle at initial foot-ground contact (IC) and hip extension strategy during a stop-jump horizontal landing. Despite a similar kinematic technique, athletes with PT utilized a strategy of a longer stance duration phase from IC to peak force. This strategy did not lead to those athletes with PT decreasing their peak vertical GRF nor patellar tendon force during landing but enabled these athletes to land with a lower rate of loading (control 59.2 +/- 39.3 vs. PT 29.4 +/- 33.7 BW.s-1). Athletes with PT still reported significantly reduced training volume (control 4.9 +/- 1.8 vs PT 1.8 +/- 1.1 sessions/wk; total training time/wk control 2.4 +/- 1.0 vs PT 1.4 +/- 1.1 h/wk).