Background Although recurrent hamstring injury is a frequent problem with a significant impact on athletes, data on factors determining the risk for a recurrent hamstring injury are scarce. Objective To systematically review the literature and provide an overview of risk factors for re-injury of acute hamstring muscle injuries. Study design Prospective studies on risk factors for re-injury following acute hamstring injuries were systematically reviewed. Medical databases and reference lists of the included articles were searched. Two reviewers independently selected potential studies and assessed methodological quality; one reviewer extracted the data. A best-evidence synthesis of all studied risk factors was performed. Results Of the 131 articles identified, five prospective follow-up studies fulfilled our inclusion criteria. These studies reported a recurrence incidence of 13.9-63.3% in the same playing season up to 2 years after initial injury. Limited evidence for three risk factors and one protective factor for recurrent hamstring injury was found; patients with a recurrent hamstring injury had an initial injury with a larger volume size as measured on MRI (47.03 vs 12.42 cm 3), more often had a Grade 1 initial trauma (Grade 0: 0-30.4%; Grade 1: 60.9-100%; Grade 2: 8.7%) and more often had a previous ipsilateral anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction (66.6% vs 17.1%) independent of graft selection. Athletes in a rehabilitation programme with agility/stabilisation exercises rather than strength/stretching exercises had a lower risk for re-injury (7.7% vs 70%). No significant relationship with re-injury was found for 11 related determinants. There was conflicting evidence that a larger cross-sectional area is a risk factor for recurrent hamstring injury. Conclusions There is limited evidence that athletes with a larger volume size of initial trauma, a Grade 1 hamstring injury and a previous ipsilateral ACL reconstruction are at increased risk for recurrent hamstring injury. Athletes seem to be at lower risk for re-injury when following agility/stabilisation exercises.

dx.doi.org/10.1136/124bjsports-2011-090317, hdl.handle.net/1765/67253
British Journal of Sports Medicine: an international peer-reviewed journal of sport and exercise medicine
Department of Orthopaedics

de Visser, H.M, Reijman, M, Heijboer, M.P, & Bos, P.K. (2012). Risk factors of recurrent hamstring injuries: A systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine: an international peer-reviewed journal of sport and exercise medicine (Vol. 46, pp. 124–130). doi:10.1136/124bjsports-2011-090317