The diagnosis of ‘‘handball goalie’s elbow’’ covers symptoms seen in the elbow of the goalkeepers; pain, weakness, reduced range of motion, apprehension, numbness, swelling, clicking, locking, and instability. It is previously believed that the this injury is caused by excessive hyperextension load. A newly published study co-authored by Lars Engebretsen found, through video analysis, that elbow valgus loading is a more likely cause of this injury.
Fifteen (5 male, 10 female) healthy handball goalkeepers participated in this study. A 23-year-old male national team member was asked to shoot at predestinated spots marked behind the goalkeeper. The ball impact with the keepers hand/arm was recorded with three cameras (frontal, sagittal and superior view). Three individuals (an orthopedic surgeon specialized in sports trauma, a general orthopedic surgeon with extensive clinical and research experience, and a former national women’s handball team coach) analyzed the movies in order to describe the loading mechanism on the elbow.
The analysts described that 78 out of 101 shots were valgus or mostly valgus load producing shots. The remaining 23 were hyperextension or mostly hyperextension load producing shots. The authors stated that more studies should be done to establish the relationship between valgus-hyperextension overload and handball goalies’ elbow. This knowledge will aid in establishing preventive measures.
Lars Engebretsen from the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center was a co-author in this study. The other authors were Umut Akgun, Mustafa Karahan, Cetin Tiryaki and Bulent Erol.
Read the article here