Clinician-friendly lower extremity physical performance tests in athletes

This study sought to review the quality of literature and measurement properties of physical performance tests (PPTs) of the lower extremity in athletes. Thirty-one articles examined the measurement properties of 14 PPTs pertaining to the lower extremity. The terminology used to name and describe the tests and methodology by which the tests were conducted was not consistent. The star excursion balance test performed in three directions (anterior, posteromedial, and posterolateral) appears to be the only test with an association with increased injury risk. There is moderate evidence that the one leg hop for distance and the hexagon hop can distinguish between normal and unstable ankles. There is also moderate evidence that the medial hop can distinguish between painful and normal hips in dancers.

At this time, there is relatively limited research-backed information on PPTs of the lower extremity in athletes. It is suggested convening an international consortium comprised of experts in sports to standardise the descriptions and methodologies, and to set forth a research agenda to establish definitively the measurement properties of the most common PPTs.