Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2013) 12, 159 - 164

Research article
Mechanisms for Triceps Surae Injury in High Performance Front Row Rugby Union Players: A Kinematic Analysis of Scrummaging Drills
Carol A. Flavell1, , Mark G. L. Sayers2,, Susan J. Gordon3, James B. Lee4
Author Information
1 School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine & Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia
2 School of Health and Sport Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, 4556, QLD, Australia
3 School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia
4 Keio University, Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan

Carol A. Flavell
‚úČ School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine & Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, 4811, QLD, Australia
Email: carol.flavell@jcu.edu.au
Publish Date
Received: 26-09-2012
Accepted: 17-01-2013
Published (online): 01-03-2013
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ABSTRACT

The front row of a rugby union scrum consists of three players. The loose head prop, hooker and tight head prop. The objective of this study was to determine if known biomechanical risk factors for triceps surae muscle injury are exhibited in the lower limb of front row players during contested scrummaging. Eleven high performance front row rugby union players were landmarked bilaterally at the posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS), greater trochanter, lateral femoral epicondyle, midline of the calcaneus above the plantar aspect of the heel, midline lower leg 5cm and 20cm proximal to the lateral malleolus, at the axis of subtalar joint, lateral malleolus, and head of the fifth metatarsal. Players were video recorded during a series of 2 on 1 live scrummaging drills. Biomechanical three dimensional analysis identified large angular displacements, and increased peak velocities and accelerations at the ankle joint during attacking scrummaging drill techniques when in the stance phase of gait. This places the triceps surae as increased risk of injury and provides valuable information for training staff regarding injury prevention and scrum training practices for front row players.

Key words: Rugby, athletes, kinematics, injuries


           Key Points
  • Front rowers exhibited patterns of single leg weight bearing, in a position of greater ankle plantar flexion and knee extension at toe off during scrummaging, which is a risk position for TS injury.
  • Front rowers also exhibited greater acceleration at the ankle, knee, and hip joints, and greater changes in ankle ROM from toe strike to toe off during attacking scrum drills.
  • These reported accelerations and joint displacements may be risk factors for TS injury, as the ankle is accelerating into plantar flexion at final push off and the muscle is shortening from an elongated state.
 
 
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