To analyze the consequences on heart rate variability (HRV) of a hospitalization period due to surgery of the knee in sportsmen.
Ten soccer players who had undergone knee surgery took part in this study.
HRV was measured before and after hospitalization within a 7-day interval.
After the hospitalization phase, heart rate at rest increased significantly (3 beats/minute). A significant decrease of 7% in the cardiac inter beat interval (R-R interval), P < 0.05 and a 66% decrease in total power spectral density: −66%, P < 0.05 were observed. The disturbance of the autonomic nervous system could be due to a variation in cardiac vagal activity resulting in a 64% decrease in the high frequencies (P < 0.05). This variation was not associated with a modification in normalized markers (LFn.u., HFn.u.) and LF/HF ratio (P > 0.05).
In sportsmen, a hospitalization period led to an increase in resting heart rate and was associated with a disturbance of the autonomic nervous system.