Does playing surfaces influence the bone geometry and strength indexes in young male soccer players?

A. Matute-Llorente, A. Gómez-Bruton, G. Lozano-Berges, C. Julián-Almárcegui, A. Gómez-Cabello, Alex Gonzalez de Aguero, G. Vicente-Rodríguez, J.a. Casajús

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    It has been shown that impact loading in sporting activity is highly associated with bone quality. However, information regarding the osteogenic effects of a sport such as football performed on different playing surfaces is scarce. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to compare variables of bone geometry and strength indexes between male football players by playing surface.

    A total of 74 male soccer players (12.7 ± 0.6 y) from different regional teams of Aragón (Spain) volunteered to participate in the study. 25 participants were training and playing on 2nd generation artificial turf (2AT), 18 on a 3rd generation artificial turf, 13 on a non-grass ground surface and 18 on natural grass (NG).

    Peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) measurements were taken at 38% of the distal tibia using a Stratec XCT-2000 L pQCT scanner. Bone geometry variables such as cortical thickness and endosteal (ENDO) andperiosteal circumferences were measured, and different bone strength indexes such as stress strain index and resistance to fracture load were calculated in X and Y axis and polar moment.

    Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with Bonferroni post-hoc test controlling for the length of the tibia (Tibiale mediale - sphyrion tibialelength) was used to compare pQCT measurements by playing surface.

    Those playing in 2AT showed lower pQCT values than NG soccer players (all p < 0.05) except for ENDO. No differences in any bone variables were found between other groups (all p > 0.05).

    Soccer players training and playing in NG pitch showed better values in bone geometry and strength indexes than those on 2AT. Despite previous studies presented similar bone mass accretion in prepubescent footballers independently of the surface on which they practiced football. Our results suggest that the type of surface on which football training is practiced during puberty might influence bone geometry.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)34-35
    JournalRevista Andaluza de Medicina del Deporte
    Issue number1
    Early online date10 Feb 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2015


    • bone mass
    • peripheral computed tomography
    • body composition
    • soccer
    • artificial turf
    • grass


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