New screening test to help identify EMTP


July 21, 2014

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A new type of screening test may help detect risk of exertion medial tibial pain in athletes.

A new type of screening test may help detect risk of exertion medial tibial pain in athletes. A study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine stated that researchers hope to add muscle fatigue protocol to the screening test for EMTP, which already includes a single-legged drop jump. 

The tibia is more commonly known as the shin bone. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons states that the tibia is the most commonly fractured long bone in the human body. A study published in 2004 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine stated that between 4 and 19 percent of the general population experiences EMTP. If athletes continue to play with EMTP, they can sustain orthopaedic fractures such as a stress fracture.

The researchers from Ghent University in Belgium studied 69 female students during their physical education program. The students were tested at the start of the first year, and then followed up with in their second and third years. The students also completed a weekly online questionnaire and a retrospective questionnaire every three months for injury follow-up assessments. 

The study used one doctor to identify and diagnose EMTP. Then, the researchers discovered risk factors for the injury using the Cox regression analysis and comparing the data of uninjured participants pre- and post?-fatigue with injured participants. The study's authors compared the EMTP leg and the leg with potential EMTP with legs in a matched control group.

During injury follow-up, 21 participants were diagnosed with EMTP. The researchers discovered that non-fatigued participants who increased their range of motion in their hips as they landed had a higher risk for developing EMTP. Fatigued participants who increased the range of motion in their hips and pelvis while landing and who increased the range of motion in their thorax during push-off also had a higher risk. The researchers also concluded that range of motion of the knee during landing and range of motion of the pelvis during push-off were not significant risk factors for EMTP in fatigued participants, despite being risk factors in non-fatigued participants.

The researchers hope this new screening test will lead to preventative measures for athletes at risk of developing EMTP. 


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