Moderate to severe injuries in football: a one-year prospective study of twenty-four female and male amateur teams.
- Sports Medicine Research Laboratory
This study aimed to realize a prospective follow-up of the injuries occurring in female and male football players involved in the highest league in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. Data concerning anthropometric characteristics and football activities were gathered in 125 female and 243 male football players via questionnaires at the beginning of the study. Then, a follow-up of moderate to severe injuries (> 15 days of interruption in football practice) was performed throughout the season 2013-2014. Sixteen injuries (injury incidence = 0.7 injuries/1000 h of exposure) were observed in 13 female football players (10.4%). These injuries concerned mainly the knee (n = 7; 43.7%), with capsules and ligaments being the most often concerned tissues (n = 7; 43.7%). In male football players, 41 severe injuries (injury incidence = 0.6 injuries/1000 h of exposure) were observed in 36 players (14.8%). These injuries concerned mainly the thighs (n = 12; 29.3%) and the muscles and tendons were the most often concerned tissues (n = 18; 43.9%). Injuries in football are predominantly located at the lower limbs, particularly the knees in female football players. The predominant muscle and tendon lesions of the thighs occurring in males could reveal that physical preparation is insufficient or inadequate for a number of players. Regarding these results, it is necessary to implement an injury prevention strategy. The "FIFA 11+" programme could be used as the basic method, but should be personalized according to sex. The injury collection methodology could be optimized with the use of an electronic database, such as the Training and Injury Prevention Platform for Sports (TIPPS). Beside the systematic recording of injury data (as well as the training load) by the players or the medical staff, this system allows to share of important information between stakeholders, follow-up the players, provide risk factor warnings and increase the awareness of the injury problem.