Injury Incidence and Burden in a Youth Elite football (Soccer) Academy: A 4-Season Prospective Study of551 players aged from under 9 to under 19 years. Injury and burden in elite young footballers

LARS MCNAUGHTON, MATT GREIG, OLIVIER MATERNE*, karim Chamari, Abdulaziz Farooq, Adam Weir, per Holmich, Roald Bahr

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Objective
Investigate the incidence and burden of injuries by age-group in youth soccer academy players during four consecutive seasons.
Methods All injuries that caused time-loss or required medical attention (as per
Consensus definitions) were prospectively recorded in 551 youth soccer players from under-9 years to under-19 years. Injury rate (IR) and burden (IB) were calculated as number of injuries per squad-season (s-s), as well as for type, location and age-groups.
Results A total of 2204 injuries were recorded. 40% (n=882) required medical attention and 60% (n=1322) caused time-loss. The total time-loss was 25,034 days. A squad of 25 players sustained an average of 30 time-loss injuries (TLI) per squad-season with an injury burden of 574 days lost per squad-season. Compared with the other age groups, U-16 players had the highest TLI rate per squad-season (95%CI lower-upper) [IR: 59 (7-8); IB: 992 (29-30) days] and U-18 players had the greatest burden per squad-season [IR: 42.1 (6-7); IB: 1408 (35-36) days]. Across the cohort of players, contusions (IR=7.7/s-s), sprains (IR=4.9/s-s) and growth-related injuries (IR=4.3/s-s) were the
most common TLI. Meniscus/cartilage injuries had the greatest injury severity (95%CI lower-upper): [IR: 0.4 (0.3-0.7); IB: 73 (22-181) days]. The burden (95%CI lower upper) of physeal fractures was double that of non-physeal fractures [IR: 0.8 (0.6-1.2); IB: 58 (33-78) days].
Summary: At this youth football academy, each squad of 25 players averaged 30
injuries per season which resulted in 574 days lost. The highest incidence of time-loss injuries occurred in Under-16 players, while the highest injury burden occurred in Under-18 players.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • Paediatric
  • growth plate injuries
  • Apophyseal injuries

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