Introduction: Knee injuries are among the most common injuries seen in soccer, represent between 10- 50 % of all soccer injuries. Sports injury prevention programs have been showing promising results in reducing the risk of knee injury. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate the effectiveness of the FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program on reducing the incidence of knee injury among soccer players.
Methods: This systematic review with meta-analysis was based upon the guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). A systematic search for relevant studies published from 1985-2022 using the following databases: Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, AMED, PubMed, Web of Science, and PEDro was conducted. The keywords used in the search strategy were ‘neuromuscular training’, ‘injury prevention programs’, ‘FIFA 11+’, ‘knee injury’, ‘soccer, and variations of these search terms. Included studies had to be randomized controlled trials using FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program for soccer players with the primary outcome being knee injury rate. There were no restrictions of age or playing level. The random-effects model was used in analysing the extracted data by the RevMan Meta-Analysis software version 5.
Results: The pooled results of 9647 players and 886001 exposure hours showed 46% knee injury reduction per 1000 hours of exposure in the intervention group compared to control group with an Injury Risk Ratio [IRR] of 0.54 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.43, 0.69, P < 0.0001).
Discussion/Conclusion: This is the first meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to evaluate the effectiveness of FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program in reducing the incidence of knee injury among soccer players. This meta-analysis demonstrates that the FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program reduces the incidence of knee injury by 46% among soccer players.
Impact/Application to the field: The results showed a 46% knee injury reduction. Therefore, it's recommended that soccer players and coaches implement the FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program in their current practice.
Conflict of interest statement: No conflict of interest of relevance to the submission of this abstract.