Objective: Abnormal imaging in the patellar tendon reveals pathology that is often associated with knee pain. Anthropometric measures of body size and mass, such as height, weight and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), have been individually associated with abnormal imaging. The aim of this study was to investigate the anthropometric factors that have the strongest relationship with abnormal imaging in volleyball players.
Methods: Height, weight, body mass index (BMI), waist girth, hip girth and WHR were measured in a cohort of 113 competitive volleyball players (73 men, 40 women). The univariate (ANOVA) and multivariable (discriminant function analysis) association between abnormal imaging and these anthropometric factors were investigated.
Results: No significant association was found in the female volleyball players. A significant univariate association was observed between abnormal imaging and heavier weight, greater BMI, larger waist and hip girth and larger WHR in the male volleyball players. Waist girth was the only factor that retained this association in a multivariable model (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Men with a waist girth greater than 83 cm seem to be at greater risk of developing patellar tendon pathology. There may be both mechanical and biochemical reasons for this increased risk.