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Predictors of Lower Extremity Injuries in Team Sports, PROFITS-study (2011‒2015)


Several intrinsic risk factors for lower extremity injuries have been proposed, including lack of proper knee and body control during landings and cutting manoeuvres, low muscular strength, reduced balance and increased ligament laxity, but there are still many unanswered questions.


The overall aim of this research project is to investigate anatomical, biomechanical, neuromuscular, genetic and demographic risk factors for traumatic non-contact lower extremity injuries in young team sport athletes. Furthermore, the research project aims to develop clinically oriented screening tools for predicting future injury risk.


Young female and male players (n=508) from nine basketball teams, nine floorball teams, three ice hockey teams, and one volleyball team accepted the invitation to participate in this 4.5-year prospective follow-up study. The players entered the study either in 2011, 2012 or 2013, and gave blood samples, performed physical tests and completed the baseline questionnaires. Following the start of screening tests, the players were followed for sports injuries through December 2015. The primary outcome is a traumatic non-contact lower extremity injury. The secondary outcomes are other sports-related injuries.


As this study combines measures of anatomical, biomechanical, neuromuscular, genetic and demographic factors, we will be able to study multiple factors that can predispose the player to a traumatic LE injury. Also, we can assess the relative importance of the different factors and their interactions. We will also perform risk factor analyses for specific injury subgroups, such as ACL injury, as well as other potential injury types where the number is sufficient.


Kati Pasanen PT, PhD (primary investigator), Assistant Professor
Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre
University of Calgary, Canada
kati.pasanen (at)

Mari Leppänen, PhD, Research and Development Director, PhD 


Leppänen M, Pasanen K, Krosshaug T, Kannus P, Vasankari T, Kujala UM, Bahr R, Perttunen J, Parkkari J. Sagittal plane hip, knee and ankle biomechanics and the risk of ACL injuries: a prospective study. Orthop J Sports Med 2017;5(12), 2325967117745487 DOI: 10.1177/2325967117745487

Pasanen K, Hietamo J, Vasankari T, Kannus P, Heinonen A, Kujala UM, Mattila VM, Parkkari J. Acute injuries in Finnish junior floorball league players. J Sci Med Sports 2018;21:268-273. (doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2017.06.021).

Leppänen M, Pasanen K, Kannus P, Vasankari T, Kujala M, Heinonen A, Parkkari J. Epidemiology of overuse injuries in youth team sports: a 3-year prospective study. Int J Sports Med 2017;38(11):847-856.DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-114864():

Leppänen M. Prevention of injuries among youth team sports: the role of decreased movement control as a risk factor. Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä, 2017. Studies in sport, physical education and health, 253. Academic dissertation.

Pasanen K, Ekola T, Vasankari Y, Kannus P, Heinonen A, Kujala UM, Parkkar J. High ankle injury rate in adolescent basketball: a 3-year prospective follow-up study. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2017;27:643-649. DOI 10.111/sms.12818

Leppänen M, Pasanen K, Kujala UM, Vasankari T, Kannus P, Äyrämö S, Krosshaug T, Bahr R, Avela J, Perttunen J, Parkkari J. Stiff landings are associated with increased ACL injury risk in young female basketball and floorball players. Am J Sports Med 2017;45(2):386-393.

Rossi M, Oasanen K, Heinonen A, Kannus P, Parkkari J. Incidence of back injuries in youth floorball and basketball: a prespective three-year follow-up. ECCS 2016 Vienna sekä FSPA Congress Helsinki, 2016.

Räisänen A, Pasanen K, Krosshaug T, Avela J, Perttunen J, Parkkari J. Single-leg squat as a tool to evaluate young athlete’s frontal plane knee control. Clin J Sports Med 2016;26:478-482.

Leppänen M, Pasanen K, Kulmala JPe, Kujala M, Krosshaug T, Kannus P, Perttunen J, Vasankari T, Parkkari J. Knee control and jump-landing technique in young basketball and floorball players. Int J Sports Med 2016;37:334-338. DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1565104.

Pasanen K, Rossi T, Parkkari J, Heinonen A, Steffen K, Myklebust G, Krosshaug T, Vasankari T, Kannus P, Avela J, Kulmala JPe, Perttunen J, Kujala M, Bahr R. Predictors of lower extremity injuries in team sports (PROFITS-study): a study protocol. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine 2015;1(1):1-7.

Pasanen K, Rossi M, Parkkari J, Kannus P, Heinonen A, Tokola K, Myklebust G. Low back pain in young basketball and floorball players. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine 2016;26(5):376-80

Kulmala JP. The effects of locomotor pattern diversity and ageing on the lower limb joint mechanics and loading during human walking and running. Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä, 2015. Academic dissertation.

Leppänen M, Pasanen K, Kujala M, Parkkari J. Overuse injuries in youth basketball and floorball. Open Access J Sports Med 2015;6:173-179

Räisänen A, Pasanen K, Parkkari J. Relationship between frontal plane knee angle and subjective assessment of knee control during a single-leg squat. Br J Sports Med 2014;48(7):653

Kulmala JP, Avela J, Pasanen K, Parkkari J. Forefoot strikers exhibit lower running-induced knee loading than rearfoot strikers. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2013;45(12):2306-13

For all publications of this research, see the Finnish description. To find the list of publications “Julkaisuja”, scroll the page down. To open the publication links, click “Lue lisaa” and “Lue julkaisu”. 

Abstracts and Posters 

The frontal plane knee control is not a risk factor for acute non-contact lower extremity injuries in youth team sports. Kulmala T, Räisänen AM, Parkkari J, Vasankari T, Kannus P, Vesanto J, Pasanen K. FSPA 2018. (poster in the SlideShare of The UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research) 

Association between frontal plane knee control and lower extremity injuries: a prospective study on young team sport athletes. A.M. Räisänen et al. ESSKA 2018. (e-poster pdf) 

Last updated: 16.5.2024

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