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Br J Sports Med. 1996 Dec;30(4):319-23.

Musculoskeletal injuries in the ultramarathon: the 1990 Westfield Sydney to Melbourne run.

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  • 1Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia.



To document the injuries sustained by participants in a 1005 km ultramarathon.


Clinical notes were reviewed on entrants in the 1005 km Sydney to Melbourne ultramarathon. An injury was recorded following self referral by a participant or if the history obtained from the runner or his support crew indicated the likelihood of a significant injury which could have an impact upon performance.


64 injuries were found in 32 runners. The knee (31.3%) and ankle (28.1%) regions were most commonly injured. The most common single diagnosis was retropatellar pain syndrome, and Achilles tendinitis and medial tibial stress syndrome were the next most common injuries. Peritendinitis/tendinitis of the tendons passing under the extensor retinaculum at the ankle, an injury infrequently reported in other sports, was common (19% of all injuries).


The injuries were typically associated with running but 12 (19% of the total) involved the tendons of the muscles of the anterior compartment of the lower leg, and in almost every case the major site of inflammation was at the extensor retinaculum at the anterior aspect of the ankle. This injury appears to be relatively specific to the ultramarathon-"ultramarathoner's ankle".

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