Author(s): Woods C, Hawkins R, Hulse M, Hodson A
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Abstract AIM: To conduct a detailed analysis of ankle sprains sustained in English professional football over two competitive seasons. METHODS: Club medical staff at 91 professional football clubs annotated player injuries. A specific injury audit questionnaire was used together with a weekly form that documented each club's current injury status. RESULTS: Completed injury records for the two competitive seasons were obtained from 87\% and 76\% of the participating clubs. Ankle ligament sprains accounted for 11\% of the total injuries over the two seasons, with over three quarters (77\%) of sprains involving the lateral ligament complex. A total of 12 138 days and 2033 matches were missed because of ankle sprains. More sprains were caused by contact mechanisms than non-contact mechanisms (59\% v 39\%) except in goalkeepers who sustained more non-contact sprains (21\% v 79\%, p<0.01). Ankle sprains were most often observed during tackles (54\%). More ankle sprains were sustained in matches than in training (66\% v 33\%), with nearly half (48\%) observed during the last third of each half of matches. A total of 44\% of sprains occurred during the first three months of the season. A high number of players (32\%) who sustained ankle sprains were wearing some form of external support. The recurrence rate for ankle sprains was 9\% (see methodology for definition of reinjury). CONCLUSION: Ankle ligament sprains are common in football usually involving the lateral ligament complex. The high rate of occurrence and recurrence indicates that prevention is of paramount importance.
This article was published in Br J Sports Med
and referenced in Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies