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Inj Prev. 2018 Oct 15. pii: injuryprev-2018-042968. doi: 10.1136/injuryprev-2018-042968. [Epub ahead of print]

Epidemiology of injuries among Italian footballers: the role of the playing field.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Science and Human Oncology, Aldo Moro University of Bari, Bari, Italy.
2
Degree course in Sport and Movement Science, School of Medicine, Aldo Moro University of Bari, Bari, Italy.
3
Orthopaedics Unit, Department of Basic Medical Science, Neuroscience and Sensory Organs, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Bari, General Hospital, Bari, Italy.
4
Department of Biomedical Science and Human Oncology, Aldo Moro University of Bari, Bari, Italy silvio.tafuri@uniba.it.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Football has a higher injury rate compared with other team sports such as rugby, in terms of two main categories: intrinsic (individual) and extrinsic (environmental) factors. The playing field is an extrinsic risk factor which has been poorly investigated in the literature.

PURPOSE:

The aim of our study was to define the incidence and risk factors of injuries in a cohort of footballers comparing the role of three different types of playing field (hard court, natural grass or synthetic grass).

STUDY DESIGN:

This was a cross sectional prevalence study.

METHODS:

The population comprised footballers recruited by a convenience sample; the instrument used for the survey was an anonymous self-administered questionnaire.

RESULTS:

267 football players were enrolled (average age 23.4±4.8 years), of whom 33.7% (n=90/267) played on hard court, 33.0% (n=88/267) on natural grass and 33.3% (n=89/267) on synthetic grass. The overall incidence of injury was 40.1 (95% CI 34.1 to 46.8) ×1000 person-years of training, with higher values for ankle and knee injuries. Ankle injuries (aOR 0.4; P=0.021) were associated with playing on natural grass as a protective factor, while playing on natural grass seemed to be a risk factor for muscular injuries (aOR 2.3; P=0.026).

CONCLUSION:

Our study showed a high lifetime prevalence of injury among footballers (57%), in particular among athletes who play and train on a hard court. We have studied a topic poorly investigated previously and provide the opportunity to understand interventions to increase the capacity of stakeholders in preventing injuries.

KEYWORDS:

burden of disease; epidemiology; health education; multiple injury; playground; sports / leisure facility

PMID:
30322971
DOI:
10.1136/injuryprev-2018-042968
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Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: None declared.

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