Assessing Lower Extremity Injury Risk in a Mid-Atlantic Drum Corps Using the Weight Bearing Lunge Test
Keywords:injury risk reduction, injury surveillance, performing arts
With athletic training’s expansion into non-traditional settings it is important to assess if screening tools can provide value in range of settings. Currently, there is a dearth of information regarding specific models for injury risk assessment in Drum Corps patients. The Weight Bearing Lunge Test (WBLT) has been used to evaluate those at risk for suffering a lower extremity injury (LEI) in a traditional athletic population. This practice based research is an attempt to apply current evidence of injury risk assessment in the traditional settings to performing arts. The purpose of our investigation was to determine the effect of WBLT motion on LEI in Drum Corps. All participating Drum Corps members were measured using the WBLT during the preseason screening process. Injury record keeping was completed through electronic medical records (EMR) and all LEI were recorded over two consecutive, 85 day seasons. The average of the maximal distance in centimeters of the great toe from the wall indicated the WBLT Average (WBLTAv). WBLT Asymmetry (WBLTAsy) was the absolute difference between limbs. T-tests were used to determine if there was a significant difference between those who sustained a LEI (Injured) and those who did not (Uninjured) for WBLTAv and WBLTAsy. For dependent measures associated with significant group differences, receiver operator characteristic curves (ROC) were performed to examine injury risk using area under the curve (AUC). Lastly, cut-off scores that produced the maximal values of sensitivity and specificity were identified. Alpha level was set a priori at p<0.05. Drum Corps patients with lower WBLTAv (<11.47cm) or higher WBLTAsy (>0.75cm) measures were more likely to sustain a LEI during a competitive drum corps season. This data demonstrates that the WBLT could be viable as a screening tool in the marching arts and provides initial cut-off values.