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Br J Sports Med. 2005 Apr;39(4):212-6; discussion 212-6.

Injuries in women's professional soccer.

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Central Maine Orthopaedics, 690 Minot Ave, Suite One, Auburn, ME 04210, USA.



The injury data from the first two seasons of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) were analysed to determine the injury incidence, anatomic location of injuries, and relation of player position.


Injury data on 202 players from eight teams during the first two seasons of the WUSA were prospectively collected and analysed.


A total of 173 injuries occurred in 110 players with an overall injury incidence rate of 1.93 injuries per 1000 player hours. The incidence of injury during practice and games was 1.17 and 12.63 per 1000 player hours, respectively. Of the injuries 82% were acute and 16% were chronic. Most of the injuries (60%) were located in the lower extremities. Strains (30.7%), sprains (19.1%), contusions (16.2%), and fractures (11.6%) were the most common diagnoses and the knee (31.8%) and head (10.9%) were the most common sites of injury. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries accounted for 4.6% of all injuries and the incidence of ACL tears was 0.09 per 1000 player hours (practice 0.04, game 0.90). Midfielders suffered the most injuries (p<0.007).


We conclude that the injury incidence in the WUSA is lower than the 6.2 injuries per 1000 player hours found in the corresponding male professional league (Major League Soccer); however, knee injuries predominate even in these elite female athletes.

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