Risk factors for lower leg, ankle and foot injuries during basic military training in the Maltese Armed Forces
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Objectives - Basic military training is physically and psychologically demanding placing recruits at high risk of injury and premature discharge. This study aimed to identify risk factors for lower leg, ankle and foot injury in Maltese military recruits during basic training. Design - This was a prospective cohort study. Setting - An armed forces barracks. Participants - 127 recruits commencing one basic military training course agreed to participate in the study. The cohort comprised 114 males and 13 females with a mean age of 21.7 ± 2.4 years. Main outcome measures - All injuries to the lower leg, ankle and foot were recorded using the Orchard Sports Injury Classification System. Injuries were analysed for associations with fitness scores, smoking status, body mass index and foot type. Results - A total of 34 (26.2%) recruits sustained at least one injury, with 10 recruits (7.9%) terminating their training prematurely (three due to musculoskeletal injury). Smoking history, body mass index and foot type were not associated with injury risk. Lower fitness levels at the commencement of basic military training compared with fitness levels measured six months prior, were associated with higher injury risk. Conclusions - Lower fitness at the commencement of basic training was associated with higher injury risk in army recruits. Thus, conditioning programmes aimed at improving recruit fitness should be considered within an injury prevention strategy.
Physical Therapy in Sport;
Psaila, M and Ranson, C. (2017) 'Risk factors for lower leg, ankle and foot injuries during basic military training in the Maltese Armed Forces', Physical Therapy in Sport, 24, pp.7-12
This article was published in Physical Therapy in Sport on 06 September 2016 (online), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2016.08.006.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
- Sport Research Groups 
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