Affiliation: Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Campus Bio-Medico University, Via Alvaro del Portillo, 200, 00128 Trigoria, Rome, Italy.
Purpose: In the last decades, new evidences supported the relationship polymorphisms and the susceptibility to develop ligament and tendon injuries. We performed a review of the genetic factors involved in tendon and ligament injuries. Methods: A review of the literature has been performed in a systematic fashion by using the terms “sports”, “ligaments”, “injuries”, “tendon” and “genetics”. PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane, Medline and Google Scholar databases were screened over the years 1984–2014. Results: The genes currently associated with tendon and ligament injuries include gene encoding for collagen, tenascin, matrix metallopeptidase, and growth factors. Conclusions: Tendon and ligament injuries do not have a single genetic cause. Predictive genomics DNA profiling for athletic performance and sport injuries allows to understand what genetic advantages have to be exploited, and which genetic barriers have to be overcome. Although these findings could explain why an individual is able to excel in one sport discipline rather than in a different one, and why an individual develops more injuries than another one, many other factors should be taken into account. Indeed, environment and lifestyle play a critical role in combination with gene profile in determing tendon and ligament injuries.