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Br J Sports Med. 2014 Sep;48(17):1306-15. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2014-093745. Epub 2014 Jun 30.

More than 50% of players sustained a time-loss injury (>1 day of lost training or playing time) during the 2012 Super Rugby Union Tournament: a prospective cohort study of 17,340 player-hours.

Author information

  • 1Clinical Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Group, UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Newlands, South Africa International Olympic Committee Research Centre, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • 2Clinical Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Group, UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Newlands, South Africa.
  • 3Biostatistics Unit, Medical Research Council, Parow, South Africa Statistics and Population Studies Department, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • 4South African Rugby Union, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • 5Golden Lions Rugby Union, Johannesburg, South Africa Section Sports Medicine, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.
  • 6Cheetahs Rugby Union, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
  • 7Section Sports Medicine, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa Blue Bulls Rugby Union, Pretoria, South Africa.
  • 8Sharks Rugby Union, Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.
  • 9Stormers Rugby Union, Cape Town, South Africa.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Professional Rugby Union is a contact sport with a high risk of injury.

OBJECTIVE:

To document the incidence and nature of time-loss injuries during the 2012 Super Rugby tournament.

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study.

SETTING:

2012 Super Rugby tournament (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa).

PARTICIPANTS:

152 players from 5 South African teams.

METHODS:

Team physicians collected daily injury data through a secure, web-based electronic platform. Data included size of the squad, type of day, main player position, training or match injury, hours of play (training and matches), time of the match injury, mechanism of injury, main anatomical location of the injury, specific anatomical structure of the injury, the type of injury, the severity of the injury (days lost).

RESULTS:

The proportion (%) of players sustaining a time-loss injury during the tournament was 55%, and 25% of all players sustained >1 injury. The overall incidence rate (IR/1000 player-hours) of injuries was 9.2. The IR for matches (83.3) was significantly higher than for training (2.1) and the IR was similar for forwards and backs. Muscle/tendon (50%) and joint/ligament (32.7%) injuries accounted for >80% of injuries. Most injuries occurred in the lower (48.1%) and upper limb (25.6%). 42% of all injuries were moderate (27.5%) or severe (14.8%), and tackling (26.3%) and being tackled (23.1%) were the most common mechanisms of injury. The IR of injuries was unrelated to playing at home compared with away (locations ≥6 h time difference).

CONCLUSIONS:

55% of all players were injured during the 4-month Super Rugby tournament (1.67 injuries/match). Most injuries occurred in the lower (knee, thigh) or upper limb (shoulder, clavicle). 42% of injuries were severe enough for players to not play for >1 week.

Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

KEYWORDS:

Contact sports; Epidemiology; Injury Prevention; Rugby; Sporting injuries

PMID:
24982503
[PubMed - in process]
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