Clinical Sports Medicine Research

Clinical Sports Medicine Research

RESEARCH AIM: To produce clinically relevant research that focuses on the aetiology, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of sports injuries; thereby assisting athletes in their endeavour to reach their full potential. Aspetar’s primary sports medicine research strengths include ACL injury, muscle injury, groin pain, foot and ankle injury and return to play. A unique feature of this research programme is that research scientists are embedded in clinical departments, planning, executing and delivering research projects, in coordination with sports medicine physicians and physiotherapists, in topics of prime importance for Aspetar and the National Sports Medicine Programme (NSMP).

ACL Injury Research

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are a highly prevalent and potentially devastating injury in sports medicine. Unfortunately, the ACL does not readily heal, and in most cases requires surgical reconstruction to stabilize the knee. Aspetar has recently established an ACL assessment unit to support the rehabilitation of ACL injured athletes at Aspetar. Our ACL Research objectives are:

  • To assist the rehabilitation team in delivering individualized athlete management and rehabilitation programs by providing comprehensive progress reports for all ACL patients at multiple time points post operatively.
  • Seek ways of improving the ACL rehabilitation service by reflecting on clinical outcomes through data collected within the assessment unit.
  • Develop innovative ideas for improving ACL rehabilitation through the implementation of research projects within the assessment unit.
Muscle Injury Research

Acute muscle injuries happening in the groin, hamstrings, calves and quadriceps muscles are still a major problem for sports that involve high speed running because of their high incidence and high re-injury rate. Our muscle injury research focuses on the treatment and return to play process of various muscle injuries in an effort to understand their propensity to (re)occur as well as identify new therapeutic interventions to accelerate healing Protocols for recovering from hamstrings and groin injuries have been developed in Aspetar, published in international journals and made available to the scientific and practitioners community: Aspetar Hamstring Protocol and Acute Adductor Injuries Treatment Protocol


Ankle Injury Research

Acute ankle sprains are among the most common sport-related injuries. Depending on the trauma-mechanism different ligamentous structures can be affected.

The purpose our ankle injury research is to investigate the accuracy of various diagnostic strategies, which aim to identify the patients at risk of delayed return to sport and those who might require surgery.