A prospective epidemiological study of injuries to New Zealand premier club rugby union players.

School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, 325 Great King Street, Dunedin, Otago 9001, New Zealand.
Physical therapy in sport: official journal of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 0.67). 09/2009; 10(3):85-90. DOI: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2009.05.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to document and analyse injuries sustained in premier grade rugby union over a competitive season and investigate the seasonal trend of injury incidence.
A prospective epidemiological cohort study of injury.
Field-based collection of match-play injury data.
Two-hundred and seventy-one players from eight premier grade rugby union teams.
Injury incidence as a function of exposure and match round including descriptive statistical analysis of injury characteristics.
Injury incidence during the season was 52 injuries per 1000 player-match hours (95% CI: 42-65). Poisson regression demonstrated a significant decrease in injury rate by 2% for each successive round throughout the season (p<0.04). Most injuries were sustained during the tackle resulting in soft tissue injuries to the lower limb.
The results of this study demonstrate an early season bias of injuries. The majority of injuries were classified as 'slight' with players returning to training or play within two days. The tackle was the phase of play which produced the most injuries consistent with previous research. Compared to analogous data collected 10 years previously, injury incidence of a similar cohort was considerably reduced.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Rugby Union, a popular full-contact sport played throughout the world, has one of the highest rates of concussion of all full-contact sports.
    Sports Medicine 08/2014; · 5.32 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives Shoulder injuries in rugby union football have been the focus of few in-depth studies, despite their frequency and severity. The study's objective was to describe the incidence, patterns and mechanisms of shoulder injuries in rugby. Design Prospective cohort study of shoulder injury incidence and retrospective case-series study of shoulder injury mechanisms. Methods Data were collected from Super Rugby matches from 2005 to 2010 involving Elite level adult male rugby players. Results 7920 player participation hours and 100 shoulder injuries were recorded during 397 Super Rugby matches. The shoulder injury incidence rate was 13 per 1000 player hours (95% CI 10 to 16). The mean number of days unavailable for selection due to these injuries was 37 (95% CI 25-54). Tacklers sustained shoulder injuries at a higher rate than ball carriers (Rate Ratio = 1.7 (95% CI 0.5-5.3)). The most frequently reported injuries were those to the acromio-clavicular joint; dislocations resulted in the greatest amount of missed play. Using video analysis, 47 of the 100 shoulder injury events were successfully identified and analysed. The main mechanisms of shoulder injury were: contact with the ground with the shoulder/arm in horizontal adduction, flexion, and internal rotation; and, impact to the lateral aspect of the shoulder with the elbow flexed and arm at the side. Conclusions Direct impact to the shoulder, either through player-to-player contact or contact with the ground, is the main cause of shoulder injury. Methods to reduce injury risk, such as shoulder pads and tackle skills, require consideration.
    Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 08/2014; · 3.08 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Using a prospective cohort study design, to establish the incidence and nature of time-loss injuries in English community rugby and to assess the differences between different playing levels. English community rugby clubs. Injury information for 4635 matches was collected during seasons 2009/2010 (46 clubs), 2010/2011(67 clubs) and 2011/2012 (76 clubs). Clubs were subdivided into groups A (semiprofessional), B (amateur) and C (recreational) for analysis. Any injury resulting in 8 days or greater absence from match play was reported by injury management staff at the clubs. The primary outcome measure was injury incidence (per 1000 player match-hours) and the secondary outcome measure was severity (ie, days absence). Overall match injury incidence was 16.9 injuries per 1000 player match-hours. Incidence was higher for group A (21.7; 95% CI 19.8 to 23.6) compared with group B (16.6; 95% CI 15.2 to 17.9) and C (14.2; 95% CI 13.0 to 15.5, both p<0.001). The mean time-loss was 7.6 weeks absence, with knee and shoulder injuries the most severe with mean absences of 11.6 and 9.3 weeks, respectively. Half of all injuries occurred to the lower limb, with knee and ankle joint/ligament injuries the most common diagnoses. Shoulder joint/ligament injuries were the most common and severe upper limb injuries. Contact events accounted for 80% of all injuries and tackles accounted for 50%. Running was the most common non-contact injury event, of which 56% were hamstring injuries. More time-loss injuries occur at higher levels of community rugby. Injury prevention strategies should focus on good technique in the tackle and conditioning exercises for the knee, ankle, hamstrings and shoulder.
    BMJ Open 01/2013; 3(11):e003998. · 2.06 Impact Factor