FSI Football Science Update


Are the Pathologic Features of Enthesopathy, Tendinopathy, and Labral and Articular Disc Disease Related to Mucoid Degeneration? A Systematic Review.

Bruni DF(1), Pierson SR, Sarwar F, Ring D, Ramtin S.

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2022 Dec 23. doi: 10.1097/CORR.0000000000002499. Online ahead of print

This systematic review between 1980 and 2021 of 3196 studies with 52 eventually included of surgical specimens of trigger digit, de Quervain tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis, lateral and medial elbow enthesopathy, rotator cuff tendinopathy, posterior tibial tendinopathy, patellar tendinopathy, Achilles tendinopathy, or disease of the hip labrum, ulnocarpal articular disc, or knee meniscus identified consistent mucoid degeneration, minimal inflammation, and imprecise assessment of relative vascularity, consistently across these anatomic sites and pathological entities.


On-field rehabilitation in football: Current knowledge, applications and future directions.

Armitage M(1)(2)(3), McErlain-Naylor SA(1)(4), Devereux G(1), Beato M(1), Buckthorpe M(3).

Front Sports Act Living. 2022 Dec 5;4:970152. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2022.970152. eCollection 2022.

This opinion article highlights the importance of effective rehabilitation protocols when injuries occur, with on-field rehabilitation OFR promoted as a vital bridge between clinical rehabilitation and return to performance. Two conceptual frameworks (Buckthorpe and Taberner) have offered progressive stages for OFR. Whilst these frameworks appear conceptually sound, empirical evidence in this area is lacking. Researchers should work together to find agreement and improve scientific understanding. Drill level analysis, using a range of monitoring techniques to reflect psycho-physiological and mechanical demands, would offer greater insights into within and between session progressions, in turn improving understanding and application of current OFR protocols. Findings should be critically appraised and applied by practitioners to facilitate continued development of evidence-based practice.


Elite female football players’ perception of the impact of their menstrual cycle stages on their football performance. A semi-structured interview-based study.

Read P(1)(2), Mehta R(3), Rosenbloom C(1)(3)(4), Jobson E(1)(5), Okholm Kryger K(1)(6)(7).

Sci Med Footb. 2022 Dec 1;6(5):616-625. doi: 10.1080/24733938.2021.2020330. Epub 2021 Dec 29.

This study assesses how female footballers perceive how their menstrual cycle impacts their physical and psychological performance through semi-structured interviews with 15 elite female footballers from two English WSL clubs. All players (100%) perceive their menstrual cycle to negatively impact performance, mostly during menses (54 references) following by the pre-menstrual stage (23 references). The most impacted physical performance indicators were power (93%) and fatigue (87%). Psychologically, confidence, focus, and reaction to criticism were commonly affected (66.7%). Over half (53%) of players experienced decreased appetite and sleep quality with recovery affectation. Players reported missing training (13.3%) and matches (13.3%) due to severity of impact, and self-manage symptoms using medication. This findings expose a clear negative impact on performance. Intervention is necessary and immediate initiation would be prudent, starting with simple measures such as basic self-management advice, education, and provision of sanitary products.


External training load is associated with adaptation in bone and body composition over the course of a season in elite male footballers.

Varley I(1), Ward M(1), Thorpe C(2), Beardsley N(3), Greeves J(4), Sale C(5), Saward C(1).

Bone Rep. 2022 Dec 5;18:101643. doi: 10.1016/j.bonr.2022.101643. eCollection 2023 Jun

In this prospective longitudinal study 20 senior male professional football players underwent dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) scans on four occasions across the season. Results shown that high magnitude dynamic actions, such as accelerations and decelerations were positively correlated with changes in bone characteristics (whole-body BMC, and mass, strength and density of the tibia) during the professional football season.


The Effects of Fixture Congestion on Injury in Professional Male Soccer: A Systematic Review.

Page RM(1), Field A(2), Langley B(3), Harper LD(4), Julian R(5)(6).

Sports Med. 2022 Dec 17:1-19. doi: 10.1007/s40279-022-01799-5. Online ahead of print.

This systematic review of 8 articles on the effects of fixture congestion on injuries during professional soccer found generally increased injury incidence although layoff duration typically lower during the congested periods.