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UEFA Champions League study: a prospective study of injuries in professional football during the 2001-2002 season
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Preventive and Social Medicine and Public Health Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Preventive and Social Medicine and Public Health Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6883-1471
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Preventive and Social Medicine and Public Health Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2005 (English)In: British Journal of Sports Medicine, ISSN 0306-3674, Vol. 39, no 8, 542-546 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: No previous study on adult football involving severaldifferent countries has investigated the incidence and patternof injuries at the highest club competitive level.

Objective: To investigate the risk exposure, risk of injury,and injury pattern of footballers involved in UEFA ChampionsLeague and international matches during a full football season.

Method: Eleven top clubs (266 players) in five European countrieswere followed prospectively throughout the season of 2001–2002.Time-lost injuries and individual exposure times were recordedduring all club and national team training sessions and matches.

Results: A total of 658 injuries were recorded. The mean (SD)injury incidence was 9.4 (3.2) injuries per 1000 hours (30.5(11.0) injuries per 1000 match hours and 5.8 (2.1) injuriesper 1000 training hours). The risk of match injury was significantlyhigher in the English and Dutch teams than in the teams fromFrance, Italy, and Spain (41.8 (3.3) v 24.0 (7.9) injuries per1000 hours; p = 0.008). Major injuries (absence >4 weeks)constituted 15% of all injuries, and the risk of major injurywas also significantly higher among the English and Dutch teams(p = 0.04). National team players had a higher match exposure,with a tendency towards a lower training injury incidence thanthe rest of the players (p = 0.051). Thigh strain was themost common injury (16%), with posterior strains being significantlymore common than anterior ones (67 v 36; p<0.0001).

Conclusions: The risk of injury in European professional footballis high. The most common injury is the thigh strain typicallyinvolving the hamstrings. The results suggest that regionaldifferences may influence injury epidemiology and traumatology,but the factors involved are unclear. National team playershave a higher match exposure, but no higher risk of injury thanother top level players.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 39, no 8, 542-546 p.
Keyword [en]
elite; epidemiology; injury incidence; professional; football; soccer
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-14383DOI: 10.1136/bjsm.2004.014571OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-14383DiVA: diva2:23368
Available from: 2013-04-03 Created: 2007-04-05 Last updated: 2013-09-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Epidemiology of injuries in elite football
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Epidemiology of injuries in elite football
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis was to study the injury characteristics in elite football, and risk factors for injury with special emphasis on anterior cruciate ligament injury. All five papers followed a prospective design using a standardised methodology. Individual training and match exposure was recorded for all players participating as well as all injuries resulting in time loss. Severe injury was defined as absence from play longer than 4 weeks.

In Paper I, all 14 teams in the Swedish men’s elite league were studied during the 2001 season. In this paper, all tissue damage regardless of subsequent time loss was also recorded. There were no differences in injury incidence between the two injury definitions during match play (27.2 vs. 25.9 injuries per 1000 hours, p=0.66) or training (5.7 vs. 5.2 injuries per 1000 hours, p=0.65). Significantly higher injury incidences for training injury, overuse injury and re-injury were found during the pre-season compared to the competitive season. Thigh strain was the single most common injury (14%).

In Paper II, 8% of all players in the Swedish men’s elite league 2001 had a history of previous ACL injury at the start of the study period. These players had a higher incidence of new knee injury during the season than players without previous ACL injury (4.2 vs. 1.0 injuries per 1000 hours, p=0.02). The higher incidence of new knee injury was seen both when using the player (relative risk 3.4, 95% CI 1.8-6.3) and the knee (relative risk 4.5, 95% CI 2.3-8.8) as the unit of analysis.

In Paper III, eleven clubs in the men’s elite leagues of five European countries were studied during the 2001-2002 season. The incidence of match injury was higher for the English and Dutch teams compared to the Mediterranean teams (41.8 vs. 24.0 injuries per 1000 hours, p=0.008) as well as the incidence of severe injury (2.0 vs. 1.1 injuries per 1000 hours, p=0.04). Players having international duty had a higher match exposure (42 vs. 28 matches, p<0.001), but a tendency to a lower training injury incidence (4.1 vs. 6.2 injuries per 1000 hours, p=0.051). Thigh strain was the most common injury (16%) with posterior strains being more frequent than anterior ones (67 vs. 36, p<0.0001).

In Paper IV, the national teams of all 32 countries that qualified for the men’s European Championship 2004, the women’s European Championship 2005 and the men’s Under-19 European Championship 2005 were studied during the tournaments. There were no differences in match and training injury incidences between the championships. Teams eliminated after the group stage in the women’s championship had a significantly higher match injury incidence compared to teams going to the semi-finals (65.4 vs. 5.0 injuries per 1000 hours, p=0.02). Non-contact mechanisms were ascribed for 41% of the match injuries and these injuries were more common in the second half.

In Paper V, all 12 clubs in the Swedish women’s elite league and 11 of 14 clubs in the men’s elite league were studied during the 2005 season. The prevalence of a history of previous ACL injury at the start of the study was three times higher among the female players (15% vs. 5%, p=0.0002). During the season, 16 new ACL injuries were recorded. There was a tendency to a lower mean age at injury among the women (20 vs. 24 years, p=0.069). Adjusted for age, no gender-related difference in the incidence of ACL injury was seen (relative risk 0.99, 95% CI 0.37-2.6). Age was associated with ACL injury incidence in women where the risk decreased by 24% for each year increase in age (relative risk 0.76, 95% CI 0.59-0.96).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för hälsa och samhälle, 2007. 64 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 993
Keyword
Elite, epidemiology, football, injuries
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-8623 (URN)978-91-85715-30-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-05-04, Aulan, Hälsans hus, Universitetssjukhuset, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-04-05 Created: 2007-04-05 Last updated: 2013-04-03

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Waldén, MarkusHägglund, MartinEkstrand, Jan

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