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PLoS One. 2014 Jun 12;9(6):e99877. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099877. eCollection 2014.

A prospective study on time to recovery in 254 injured novice runners.

Author information

  • 1Department of Public Health, Section of Sports Science, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark; Orthopaedic Surgery Research Unit. Science and Innovation Center, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.
  • 2Department of Orthopaedics, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
  • 3Orthopaedic Surgery Research Unit. Science and Innovation Center, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.



Describe the diagnoses and the time to recovery of running-related injuries in novice runners.


Prospective cohort study on injured runners.


This paper is a secondary data analysis of a 933-person cohort study (DANO-RUN) aimed at characterizing risk factors for injury in novice runners. Among those sustaining running-related injuries, the types of injuries and time to recovery is described in the present paper. All injured runners were diagnosed after a thorough clinical examination and then followed prospectively during their recovery. If they recovered completely from injury, time to recovery of each injury was registered.


A total of 254 runners were injured. The proportion of runners diagnosed with medial tibial stress syndrome was 15%, 10% for patellofemoral pain, 9% for medial meniscal injury, 7% for Achilles tendinopathy and 5% for plantar fasciitis. Among the 220 runners (87%) recovering from their injury, the median time to recovery was 71 days (minimum  = 9 days, maximum  = 617 days).


Medial tibial stress syndrome was the most common injury followed by patellofemoral pain, medial meniscal injury and Achilles tendinopathy. Half of the injured runners were unable to run 2×500 meters without pain after 10 weeks. Almost 5% of the injured runners received surgical treatment.

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