Background: Previous injury is often proposed to be a risk factorfor football injury, but most studies rely on players reportingtheir own medical history and are thus potentially subject torecall bias. Little is known about the natural variation ininjury pattern between seasons.
Objectives: To study whether prospectively recorded injuriesduring one season are associated with injuries sustained duringthe following season, and to compare injury risk and injurypattern between consecutive seasons.
Methods: The medical staffs of 12 elite Swedish male footballteams prospectively recorded individual exposure and time lossinjuries over two full consecutive seasons (2001 and 2002).A multivariate model was used to determine the relation betweenprevious injury, anthropometric data, and the risk of injury.
Results: The training and match injury incidences were similarbetween seasons (5.1 v 5.3 injuries/1000 training hours and25.9 v 22.7/1000 match hours), but analysis of injury severityand injury patterns showed variations between seasons. Playerswho were injured in the 2001 season were at greater risk ofany injury in the following season compared with non-injuredplayers (hazard ratio 2.7; 95% confidence interval 1.7 to 4.3,p<0.0001). Players with a previous hamstring injury, groininjury, and knee joint trauma were two to three times more likelyto suffer an identical injury in the following season, whereasno such relation was found for ankle sprain. Age was not associatedwith an increased injury risk.
Conclusions: This study confirmed previous results showing thatprevious injury is an important risk factor for football injury.Overall injury incidences were similar between consecutive seasons,indicating that an injury surveillance study covering one fullseason can provide a reasonable overview of the injury problemamong elite football players in a specific environment. However,a prolonged study period is recommended for analyses of specificinjury patterns.
2006. Vol. 40, 767-772 p.