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Orthop J Sports Med. 2018 Feb 22;6(2):2325967118756826. doi: 10.1177/2325967118756826. eCollection 2018 Feb.

Shoulder Injuries in National Collegiate Athletic Association Quarterbacks: 10-Year Epidemiology of Incidence, Risk Factors, and Trends.

Author information

John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, Arizona, USA.



Up to 50% of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football players have a history of shoulder injuries. The quarterback position has been shown to have a high prevalence of these injuries because of its unique exposures. There is little information regarding the shoulder injury type and mechanism in NCAA quarterbacks.


To understand the 10-year epidemiology of specific shoulder injury rates in NCAA quarterbacks.

Study Design:

Descriptive epidemiology study.


Shoulder injury data for collegiate football quarterbacks from the 2004 through 2014 academic years were analyzed using the NCAA Injury Surveillance Program (ISP) data set.


Over the 10-year study period, a total of 133 shoulder injuries to collegiate quarterbacks were reported, with 157,288 quarterback exposures. There was approximately 1 shoulder injury per 1221 exposures. The most common injuries noted were acromioclavicular sprains (45.1%, n = 60), followed by shoulder contusions (9.0%, n = 12), clavicular fractures (7.5%, n = 10), and anterior instability (5.3%, n = 7). The majority of injuries were caused by contact with a player (60.2%, n = 80) or contact with a playing surface (28.6%, n = 38), and 88% (n = 117) were deemed nonsurgical in nature.


NCAA ISP data analysis suggests that collegiate quarterbacks sustain acute contact injuries 89% of the time and that they typically occur while being tackled, resulting in a time loss of less than 2 weeks. These injuries are commonly treated nonsurgically.


AC joint; football-related shoulder injuries; positional injuries; quarterback; shoulder contusion; shoulder injury

Conflict of interest statement

One or more of the authors has declared the following potential conflict of interest or source of funding: D.E.H. and A.C. are consultants for Arthrex.

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