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Clin J Sport Med. 2013 Jul;23(4):255-60. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e31827ee6f8.

Head and neck injuries in professional soccer.

Author information

1
Football Research Group, Linköping, Sweden. michael.nilsson@skane.se

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the rate of and risk factors for head and neck injury in male soccer.

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study.

SETTING:

Professional soccer.

PARTICIPANTS:

Twenty-six European teams between 2001/2002 and 2009/2010.

ASSESSMENT OF RISK FACTORS:

Simple and multiple risk factor analyses were evaluated using Cox regression for player-related variables and logistic regression for match-related variables.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Injury rate (number of time loss injuries per 1000 hours).

RESULTS:

A total of 136 head and neck injuries were recorded (2.2% of all injuries). The head and neck injury rate was 0.17 (0.06 concussions) per 1000 hours. There was a 20-fold higher rate of head and neck injury during match play compared with training (rate ratio [RR], 20.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 13.3-30.6) and a 78-fold higher rate of concussions (RR, 78.5; 95% CI, 24.4-252.5). Mean layoff for concussion was 10.5 days, but 27% of the concussed players returned to play within 5 days. Defender was the only significant player-related risk factor for head and neck injuries in the multiple analysis (RR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.0-3.1), whereas no significant variables were identified for concussions.

CONCLUSIONS:

Head and neck injuries were relatively uncommon in professional soccer. Defender was the playing position most at risk. More than one-quarter of the concussed players returned to play before what is recommended in the consensus statements by the major sports governing bodies.

PMID:
23348605
DOI:
10.1097/JSM.0b013e31827ee6f8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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