Severity, frequency, location and nature of injuries in elite football
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The objectives of the study were to investigate the severity, frequency, nature, and anatomical location of football injuries and more specifically how severity is affected by various injury natures and locations. Severity was classified according to the NAIRS scale of sporting time lost where minor injuries are 1-7 days lost, moderate injuries 8-21 and major injuries over 21. 30 elite football clubs in England and Wales were contacted and sent injury questionnaires of which 5 replied. The questionnaire required each clubs trained medical staff to identify the last 20 player injuries that they had recorded of which the player had fully recovered from and indicate the nature of the injury, the location of the injury, the date the injury was sustained and the date the players were deemed fully recovered. An indication of whether injuries were overuse or reoccurring injuries was also required. The results show that 50% of the recorded injuries were moderate in severity, 30% minor and 20% major (p<0.05). The most common injury natures were strains (46%), sprains (19%), and contusions (11%) (p<0.05). The most common locations injured were upper leg muscles and tendons (35%) and the non-muscular proportions of the lower leg (20%) (p<0.05). The most severe injury natures were dislocations and fractures (<0.05). Injuries to the upper leg muscles and tendons were the most severe injury location. In conclusion injuries to elite football players tend to be moderate in terms of severity, although not all of the literature agrees. Severity is dependent on nature and location of injuries and whether they are overuse or reoccurring injuries.
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