Injury Prevalence of the Lower Limbs in Handball Players: A Systematic Review.
Abstract: Lower limb injuries are frequent in handball and a serious hindrance to athletic performance. The aim of this systematic review was to synthesize the available research on the prevalence of lower limb injuries in handball players according to sex and competitive level. According to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis, 19 studies were selected after a systematic search and selection process of three digital databases: Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science. Furthermore, a study quality analysis using an ‘Extension for Sports Injury and Illness Surveillance of the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE-SIIS)’ was carried out. The sample consisted of 7110 male and female handball players registering 4483 injuries in their lower limbs. The results showed a high incidence of knee injuries (30.23%) and ankle injuries (24.80%), especially in the ligaments, such as the talofibular and the anterior cruciate ligaments. Considering sex and competitive level, knee injuries accounted for 47.02% of injuries among women, while among men, ankle injuries were most prevalent (34.22%) in international competitions. Additionally, the most common cause of injuries was trauma (85.61%). The findings highlighted that the prevalence of lower limb injuries varies greatly according to the characteristics of the sample and injury. Therefore, the study underlines the importance that sports practitioners (physical trainers, readapters, and physiotherapists) adapt training protocols to reduce injury incidence in the most affected body areas or tissues.
- CAFYD