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001 INJURIES SUSTAINED DURING MARATHON KAYAK COMPETITION: THE DEVIZES TO WESTMINSTER RACE

M. R. Carmont, M. R. Baruch, C. Burnett, P. Cairns, J. W. K. Harrison.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospital North Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent & Stepping Hill Hospital, Manchester, UK

Objectives: To assess the incidence and aetiological factors of injuries sustained during marathon kayak competition.

Methods: A postal questionnaire was distributed to competitors following the Devizes to Westminster Canoe and Kayak Marathon 2004. This 125 mile race is completed in either continuous or staged categories allowing group comparison.

Results: 103 competitors replied (46%), and reported injuries to wrists (21%), shoulders (19%), back (14%) and hands (13%).

Specifically incidences of 43% for tenosynovitis and 16% for sciatica were reported and these were similar in both continuous and staged groups (46%vs37% for tenosynovitis and 14%vs20% for sciatica respectively).

68% used wing paddles; however, there was no difference between the incidence of tenosynovitis with paddle type.

A mean paddle blade offset of 68.1 degrees was recorded by those who reported tenosynovitis and 69.4 degrees by those who did not.

A mean seat height of 7.9 cm was recorded by those reporting sciatica compared to 7.8 cm for non-sufferers.

Conclusions: Overuse injuries occur commonly during marathon kayak racing. There was a slightly increased incidence of tenosynovitis in continuous paddlers. Paddle type, blade offset and seat height do not appear to be aetiological factors for tenosynovitis and sciatica. Training pattern may well be a more important factor.

002 COMPARISON OF TWO METHODS OF SHOULDER PROPRIOCEPTION ASSESSMENT IN NON-INJURED SUBJECTS

C. Tinning, A. Crofts, D. Hunter, J. MacLean, W. S. Hillis.The National Stadium Sports Medicine Centre, Hampden Park, Glasgow, G42 9ED UK

Aim: To compare shoulder proprioception assessment using a newly devised Biodex Balance System single arm stability test with Reproduction of Passive Positioning (RPP) assessment.

Methods: 20 subjects were tested using both methods. Main outcome measures calculated over three trials per subject were Absolute Matching Error (AME) and Mean Biodex Test score (MBT). These represent subjects’ accuracy in reproducing a given joint angle and maintaining a level platform respectively. Variable Matching Errors (VME) and Variable Biodex Test scores (VBT) were corresponding standard deviations and scores of consistency.

Results: AME and MBT scores did not correlate (p = 0.668), nor did VME and VBT scores (p = 0.9). Method reliability was 5.869° (error) for the RPP test and 0.728° (from level) for the Biodex test. There were no significant intra-test trends (p>0.05).

Conclusions: Measurements of shoulder proprioception provided by the methods used here are independent. Clinical reliability of the Biodex single arm stability test method is higher. Learning effects and/or fatigue did not influence the results of either method. Both methods were practically plausible although the Biodex set up was simpler. The results support use of this Biodex single arm stability test but not to the exclusion of other modes of shoulder proprioception assessment.

003 THE CASE TO SUPPORT THE INCLUSION OF ERGOMETER ROWING IN REHABILITATION PROGRAMMES FOLLOWING AUTOLOGOUS CHONDROCYTE IMPLANTATION

K. Hambly, V. Bobic, E. Fletcher.London Metropolitan University, 31 Jewry Street, London EC3N 2EY, UK; karen{at}rehabmatters.com

Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI) is in clinical use as a primary treatment for isolated chondral defects of the knee in high-demand young, athletic adults. Basic science indicates that intermittent, cyclical dynamic loading may act as a positive stimulus to optimise graft maturation and remodelling. The stationary cycle is one of the main modalities for delivering this loading in vivo. This study considers the case that the rowing ergometer could offer a complimentary, or in some instances a preferential, modality to the stationary cycle in rehabilitation programmes following ACI.

Current ‘published’ rehabilitation protocols from leading cartilage repair centres in Europe, North America and Australasia were analysed for the timing of introduction and progressions thereafter of stationary cycling and ergometer rowing. A comparative analysis of the relevant biomechanics of rowing and cycling ergometry was also undertaken.

Few centres specifically included rowing ergometry in their rehabilitation protocols. Where rowing ergometry was listed it was generally introduced after stationary cycling as an unrestricted activity without progressions.

There is potential to include ergometer rowing earlier in rehabilitation protocols following ACI if it is introduced on a controlled, progressive basis but further studies are needed to quantify internal knee joint forces.

004 BONE STRENGTH INDEX IN MALE AND FEMALE ADOLESCENTS: DOES GENDER MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

D. A. Greene, G. A. Naughton, A. Kemp, J. Briody, L. Corrigan (2004).Centre of Physical Activity Across the Lifespan, School of Exercise Science, Australian Catholic University, PO BOX 968 North Sydney, New South Wales 2059, Australia

Geometric and biomechanical analyses of bone can advance our understanding of musculoskeletal adaptations to weight bearing sports. Combining data from Dual X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) provides a useful, non-invasive measure of in vivo bone strength. We compared Bone Strength Index (BSI) in adolescent male (n = 20, {mean ± SD} age: 16.8±0.6 yr, physical activity: 14.2±5.7 hr.wk−1) and female (n = 20, age: 16.0 ± 1.7 yr, physical activity: 8.9±2.1 hr.wk−1) middle-distance runners with age and gender-matched controls (males: n = 20, age: 16.4±0.7 yr, physical activity: 2.2±0.7 hr.wk−1) (females: n =  20, age: 16 ± 1.8 yr, 2.0±0.07 hr.wk−1). A mid distal region of interest representing 10% of tibial length was analysed using DXA derived bone mineral and was combined with bone geometry and biomechanical properties from MRI. The distal tibia for female runners and controls differed for BMC (p = 0.028), cortical BMC (p = 0.002), volumetric cortical BMD (p = 0.004), cross-sectional moments of inertia (p = 0.005) and BSI (p = 0.002). No between group differences in bone mineral or geometric variables were found in males. Therefore, mechanical loading was associated with tibial BSI in active female adolescents but not male adolescents.

005 THE INFLUENCE OF THE ANKLE POSITION ON THE INTRACOMPARTMENTAL PRESSURES OF THE LEG IN PATIENTS SUFFERING FROM SYMPTOMS OF CHRONIC COMPARTMENT SYNDROME

D. Tsintzas, J. B. King, N. Padhiar.Academic Department of Sports and Exercise medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

The purpose of this study is to find out if there is any difference on the intracompartmental pressures (ICP) of the leg compartments between four positions of the ankle joint: relaxed-resting position, passive plantar flexion, neutral position and passive dorsi flexion.

The subjects are patients suffering from symptoms of chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS). ICP are measured with the use of slit catheters connected to pressure transducers. After the insertion of the slit catheters in the involved compartments of both legs, ICP are monitored dynamically in the relaxed-resting position of the ankle joint, in full passive plantar flexion, full passive dorsi flexion and finally in the neutral position of the ankle joint.

Sixteen patients took part in our study and we measured the ICP in 26 anterior and 18 deep posterior compartments. Statistical analysis showed that there is statistical significant increase (p<0,05) of the ICP in the dorsi flexed position in both the anterior and the deep posterior compartments. No other statistical significant increases has been found in any other positions of the ankle. The lowest values of ICP were noted in the relaxed-resting position.

The results of this study might have clinical implications in the conservative treatment of CECS. Also, being in agreement with previous studies conducted in healthy volunteers, these results might propose cast immobilization in some degrees of plantar flexion for the first few days in patients having sustained leg injuries and being at risk of acute compartment syndrome.

006 REPEATABILITY OF KINEMATIC MEASURES OF ROWING PERFORMANCE AND THEIR USE TO COMPARE TWO ROWING ERGOMETER DESIGNS

R. R. Steer, A. H. McGregor, A. M. J. Bull.Imperial College London, Charing Cross Hospital, London W6 8RF, UK

Rowing injuries have been attributed to poor technique, suggesting a need to understand the mechanics of rowing and the influence of different training regimes and ergometers on this technique. This study aimed to investigate the repeatability of kinematic measurements of rowing technique, utilising this method to compare spinal kinematics between rowing on a Concept II and WaterRower ergometer.

An electromagnetic device in conjunction with a load cell was used to characterise the technique of 12 rowers. Subjects were tested on three occasions at two different ratings, with an interval of one week between testing. Two datasets were obtained for the Concept II and one for the WaterRower.

The kinematics measurements of rowing demonstrated good repeatability. The comparison between the two ergometers showed a similarity in force profiles but some significant differences in spinal kinematics. There was considerably greater femoral flexion (p<0.05) throughout the stroke on the WaterRower (femoral rotation −30.0° for the Concept; −37.0° for the WaterRower at the catch). There were also trends indicating that pelvic control was altered on the WaterRower.

In conclusion, rowing kinematics do change between ergometers, and the findings suggest that the WaterRower can lead to what is thought to be an aberrant technique. The implications of this require further investigation.

007 ESTABLISHMENT OF A PROTOCOL TO TEST FATIGUE OF THE TRUNK MUSCLES

G. Corin, P. Strutton, A. H. McGregor.Imperial College London, Charing Cross Hospital, London W6 8RF, UK

Muscle fatigue has high relevance in human performance yet little research has evaluated how it should be assessed. The aims of this study were to establish the most effective method of generating and assessing fatigue of the trunk muscles using a Cybex Norm Isokinetic Dynanometer with a trunk flexion-extension unit.

Sixteen rugby players were subjected to four protocols (A, B, C, D), separated by a week; A: Isokinetic pre and post fatigue measurements, with a 10 repetition isokinetic fatigue period; B: Isokinetic pre and post fatigue measurements with a 45-second isometric fatigue period; C: Isometric pre and post fatigue measurements with a 10 repetition isokinetic fatigue period; and D: Isometric pre and post fatigue measurements with a 45-second isometric fatigue period.

All subjects completed all four protocols. Fatigue induction appeared more effective in flexion than extension. Significant differences in mean peak torque values between pre and post fatigue were seen in protocols A, B and D in flexion and only in protocol D for extension. In flexion protocol D produced the greatest fatigue – the post fatigue peak torque value being 16.2% less than the pre fatigue value, suggestive of greater sensitivity.

It appears that a protocol consisting of both isometric testing and fatiguing is the most effective, sensitive and reproducible method of inducing and measuring fatigue in the muscles of the trunk.

008 THE IMPACT OF AN EXTREME SPORTS EVENT ON A DISTRICT GENERAL HOSPITAL

M. R. Carmont, R. Daynes, D. Sedgwick.The Belford Hospital, Highland Acute Hospitals, Fort William & University Hospital, North Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, UK

Extreme sports events are increasing in popularity, particularly in mountainous areas throughout Great Britain. Emergency medical care for these events is usually provided by voluntary organisations, providing event side first aid and referring patients to nearby District General Hospitals.

The Fort William Mountain Bike Race is part of the UCI World Cup Series: 173 competitors racing in Cross Country, Downhill and 4X events. The downhill race involved a descent of 525 m over 2.6 km. Racing was going to be fast and furious and injuries were likely to occur!

The local Belford District General Hospital provides year round medical care for the Lochaber community, which frequently swells during the tourist season. The hospital sees 8300 new attendances p.a., 35 patient reviews per 24 hrs.

We have reviewed the impact of the event on the local hospital.

In total 52 riders reported 61 injuries. The hospital treated 24 (14%) riders. Retrospective analysis of attendances has revealed 19 riders attended on race days, increasing attendees by up to 28%. 46% of injured riders were seen at the A&E department, 1 rider required admission for observation and 1 rider required inter-hospital transfer. Injury patterns (knee 20%, hand/wrist 18% & shoulder 15%) were similar to other reported series.

We believe that extreme sports events can have significant impact on Small District General Hospitals. Additional triage and staffing resources should be utilised and event organisers should anticipate the additional problems they present to the local community. District General Hospitals continue to provide a major contribution to the provision of health care for extreme sports within the UK.

009 THE ANTERO-MEDIAL REACH TEST: ASSESSMENT OF THE RELIABILITY OF A NEW FUNCTIONAL TEST FOR ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT DEFICIENCY

K. Rice, A. Hunt, M. Batt.Department of Sport and Exercise Medicine, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK

Aim: To assess the reliability of the anteromedial reach test (ART) as a new functional test in normal and ACL deficient knees.

Methods: Prospective cohort study. Thirty normal volunteers and 30 subjects with ACL deficiency were recruited. Performance of the ART on two occasions separated by one week was assessed in all participants. The mean distance of 5 attempts for each leg was determined and the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) calculated.

Results: In healthy volunteers leg dominance did not affect the distance reached on the ART (r = 0.823) and reliability over a one-week interval was excellent (ICC = 0.96). In ACL deficient subjects there was a significant difference between the distance reached by the injured and normal knees (p<0.0001). ART reliability over one week in ACL deficient patients was good (ICC = 0.83).

Conclusion: The ART is a reliable test in both the normal population and in the ACL deficient population and in the latter group demonstrates a significant difference between the distances achieved between the normal and the injured knees.

010 DOES INHALED SALBUTAMOL HAVE AN ERGOGENIC EFFECT ON SPORTS PERFORMANCE?

E. Curry.School of Medicine, University of Edinburgh, UK

Beta-2 agonists have long enabled asthmatic athletes to compete in sport. However controversy has arisen over the use of such drugs ergogenically in the non-asthmatic1 which has led to stringent guidelines on their usage from the International Olympic Committee.2

A randomized controlled double blind design was used to study the effects of 200µg Salbutamol versus placebo in 26 non-asthmatic female hockey players. Comparison was made using three maximal 100 m sprints. Performance was judged as per the sprint time. Testing was separated by one week. Respiratory parameters of Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second (FEV1), Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) and Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF) were also measured.

T-test analysis revealed no significant difference between the Salbutamol and Placebo for the sprint times (16.41±0.94 vs 16.46±1.08). FEV1 and FVC were significantly higher after Salbutamol administration but not PEF.

The data indicates that in well trained female athletes a single therapeutic inhaled dose of Salbutamol has no ergogenic effect. Furthermore, it is recommended that inhaled Salbutamol should still be permitted as treatment of asthma in international competition.

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011 A PROFILE OF CHARTERED PHYSIOTHERAPISTS WORKING WITH ELITE ATHLETES IN IRELAND

F. Wilson.School Of Physiotherapy, Trinity Centre For Health Sciences, St James’s Hospital, James’s Street, Dublin 8, Ireland

The role of the specialist has yet to be defined although many physiotherapists would describe themselves as specialising in sports medicine. The aim of this study was to produce a career profile of chartered physiotherapists who would describe themselves as specialising in sports medicine by virtue of the fact they volunteered to be listed in the Irish Sports Council ‘PACE’ scheme services directory.

A postal survey, which consisted of open and closed questions was the tool used for this study. The questionnaire was modelled on the accreditation system currently used in Canada and Australia by the professional physiotherapy bodies.

The response rate of the survey was 65%. Most respondents were in the 35–50-age bracket (29%) and were qualified 11–15 years (31%), the male to female ratio was 17:83% respectively and the mean number of years treating elite athletes was 8.7 years (range 2–30 years). Thirty percent of respondents had a graduate diploma in physiotherapy alone with 44% stating that they had a BSc in physiotherapy, 18% reporting a BSc and an MSc and 2% with a PhD. Others reported their highest degrees to include BA physiotherapy. The main setting in which athletes were treated was cited as a private sports injury clinic (61%) and 44% stated that they spent between 0–2 hours treating athletes weekly. The most popular method of referral was self-referral by the athlete (77%) .88% of respondents felt that their undergraduate training did not prepare them in all areas to treat elite athletes. However, 74% felt that their undergraduate training prepared them well in massage and medical / surgical conditions (62%). A broad range of postgraduate training was demonstrated.

In conclusion most athletes self refer to private clinics where treatment is delivered by physiotherapists who demonstrate a commitment to postgraduate training in Ireland. Most believe that undergraduate training does not prepare them fully to treat elite athletes.

012 PAIN AND PAIN AFFECTS IN A COHORT OF PRE-PROFESSIONAL DANCERS

B. Fernihough, A. Gupta.Curtin University of Technology, School of Physiotherapy, Bentley, Perth, Australia

This investigation aimed to identify the number of site(s), intensity of pain and pain affects in a cohort (n = 34) of pre-professional female dancers (mean (SD) age 19.09 years (1.44); height 1.65 m (0.05); weight 54.45 kgs (5.1); body fat percentage 22.43 (5.28)) training in ballet and contemporary styles.

A qualified physiotherapist interviewed each dancer and obtained a pain history for the 12 weeks preceding the time of the interview. This included (mean (SD)) number of site(s) of pain (2.76 (1.95)), most severe intensity of pain (visual analogue scale (VAS)) (5.74 (1.89)) and average intensity of pain (3.14(1.82)).

The dancer completed a four statement questionnaire by marking one of 5 boxes (ranging from whether she ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘strongly disagreed’ (score 0–4)) with the following statements: I have experienced pain at some stage due to dance 1.53 (0.9); I have reduced the amount of dancing due to pain 3.24 (1.46); I have reduced the intensity of dancing due to pain 2.76 (1.39); I have reduced the intensity of dancing due to pain 2.76 (1.39); I have not danced to my best ability due to pain 2.76 (1.26).

This is a unique investigation into pain and its affects in dancers that are seen to have elevated levels of pain tolerance,1 often continuing performance through ‘pain’ and likely ‘injury’.

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013 PHYSICAL FITNESS AS A PREDICTOR OF PLAYING LEVEL IN GAELIC FOOTBALLERS

P. Conneely, B. Kehoe, J. Gormley.School of Physiotherapy, University of Dublin, Trinity College, Ireland

The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of physical fitness in the level of Gaelic football played by comparing the physical fitness of senior and junior club footballers. A secondary objective was to investigate the relationship between components of fitness.

Thirty-eight junior (23.66±3.92 yrs) and 56 (25.64±5 yrs) senior club Gaelic footballers were recruited from senior and junior clubs. Each player then completed field tests to assess their height, weight, percentage body fat, leg power, flexibility, speed, muscle endurance and aerobic capacity.

No significant differences in leg power, flexibility, speed, muscular endurance and aerobic capacity was observed between senior and junior players (p>0.05). Significant correlations were found in the relationships of body fat and VO2 max (r = −0.43, p<0.0005), body fat and sprint times (r = 0.57, p<0.0005) and vertical jump height and sprint time (r = −0.15, p>0.05).

The small differences found between the physical fitness characteristics of the player groups suggests that fitness levels may not have a major role in determining the level at which of Gaelic footballers play. It is possible that other factors such as skill or tactical awareness may be responsible, but this hypothesis requires further research

014 IS EXERCISE GOOD FOR YOU? A RETROSPECTIVE REVIEW OF CHILDREN ADMITTED VIA THE EMERGENCY MEDICINE DEPARTMENT WITH SPORT RELATED INJURIES (SRI)

D. T. BRyan1, K. PO’rourke2, S. Munn3, M. Browne1, J. Sheehan4, S. Cusack1, M. Molloy2.1Emergency Medicine Department, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland, 2Department of Rheumatology and Sports Medicine, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland, 3Department of Paediatrics, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland, 4Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Purpose: To identify the range of childhood SRI requiring admission via the emergency medicine department of a tertiary referral centre.

Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study design was used to collect data on all children (<17) admitted from the emergency medicine department with a SRI.

Results: This study identified 1143 children with SRI. 113 (10%) required hospitalization. The majority of children admitted were male (71%), and <12 years old (59%). Males >12 years of age were more frequently admitted than females of the same age category (p<0.05). Most admissions were under the care of the orthopaedic surgery department (62%), whereas the emergency medicine service admitted a smaller number (22%) for further evaluation, most commonly for head injury observation (92%). Most admissions were as the result of football injuries (27%), and overall, the most frequent type of injury was a fracture (60%), with surgery being the most common intervention (93%). Compared to other injury sites, upper limb injuries were more likely to require surgery (p<0.0001).

Conclusion: This study identifies the broad range of sporting activity in which children presenting to our services are injured. This study may help with future preventative programs.

015 PLAYGROUND INJURIES IN CHILDREN UNDER 17 PRESENTING TO AN EMERGENCY MEDICAL DEPARTMENT. ITS NOT ALL JUST SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS!

K. P O’Rourke1, S. Munn2, M. Browne3, J. Sheehan4, S. Cusack3, M. Molloy1.1Department of Rheumatology and Sports Medicine, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland, 2Department of Paediatrics, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland, 3Department of Emergency Medicine, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland, 4Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Purpose: There is little data on the demographics of playground injuries occurring in Irish children, and the purpose of this study was to provide information on the nature of these injuries.

Materials and Method: Data was collected on all children (<17 years of age), injured in playground activities, presenting to an emergency medical department, over a 6-month period.

Results: Retrospective analysis was performed on 23,000 charts, and 81 children were found to have presented with a playground related injury, none of which were wearing any protective gear. Swing injuries presented most frequently (26%), followed by slide (24%), and climbing frame (22%) injuries. The most frequently injured age category was the 5–6 year old category, accounting for 35.8% of the injuries. The most frequent mechanism of injury was fall (88%), site of injury was upper limb (64%), and type of injury was fracture (56%). Physiotherapy was not requested for the management of any injury. Only 22% of injured children were given advice regarding RICE. None were given injury preventive advice. 12% of children required admission.

Conclusions: The data provided in this study highlights the nature childhood fairground injuries, and could be helpful in formulating much needed injury prevention strategies.

016 A COMPARISON OF SOCCER, GAELIC FOOTBALL AND RUGBY INJURIES IN 409 CHILDREN UNDER 17 PRESENTING TO AN EMERGENCY MEDICINE DEPARTMENT OVER A 6 MONTH PERIOD

F. Quinn1, K. PO’rourke1, S. Munn2, M. Browne3, J. Sheehan4, S. Cusack3, M. Molloy1.1Department of Rheumatology and Sports Medicine, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland, 2Department of Paediatrics, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland, 3Department of Emergency Medicine, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland, 4Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Purpose: In Irish sport, sport related injuries (SRIs) in children playing soccer, rugby and gaelic football are common. The purpose of this study was to provide up-to-date demographic information on the nature of these SRIs.

Materials and Method: Data was collected on all children (<17 years of age), injured in these 3 sports, presenting to an emergency medicine department over 6 months.

Results: Retrospective analysis was performed on 23 000 charts, and 409 SRIs were identified over a 6 month period. Overall, males were injured most frequently (88%). Most injuries occurred in soccer (56%). Upper limb injuries predominated in all 3 sports, but were the commonest injury in gaelic football (66%). Fractures were the commonest type of injury in soccer (52%) and gaelic football (49%), and soft tissue injuries in rugby (54%). The predominant mechanism of injury was different in each sport, in soccer- falls (38%), in gaelic football- collisions with football (37%), and in rugby- collisions with person (55%). 8% required admission and 82% required follow-up. No documented use of protective gear or preventative advice was recorded for any of the SRIs seen.

Conclusions: The data provided from this study describes the nature of SRIs affecting children in each of these 3 sports.

017 THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF HORSE RIDING INJURIES IN SOUTHEASTERN IRELAND

I. AKhan1, M. Doyle1, K. PO’rourke2, M. Molloy2.1Department of Accident and Emergency, Waterford Regional Hospital, 2Department of Rheumatology and Sports Medicine, Cork University Hospital, Ireland

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to collect up-to-date demographical data on horse riding injuries presenting to the emergency medicine department in Ireland.

Methods: Data was collected retrospectively for one calendar year from March 2002, with patients identified from triage notes, and entered into a MS Access database.

Results: 56 000 patient charts were analysed, and 144 horse-riding injuries were identified. Females were injured most frequently (54%). Most injuries occurred between ages 15 and 20 (24%), and ages 30 and 35 (15%). The most common mechanism of injury was fall (67%), and site of injury was upper limb (36%). Head injury accounted for 6% of injuries. The majority were discharged and followed-up (71%), but some required admission (29%). Among those that required follow-up, the majority attended their GP (53%) or the fracture clinic (31%). Of those patients that required admission, the majority went to the orthopaedic department (72%). There was no fatality recorded during the period of study.

Conclusion: Head injuries accounted for only a small proportion of injuries. Unfortunately, there is no approved protective gear for the upper limb. This paper identifies the potential need for upper protective gear due to a high occurrence of injury at this site.

018 PEAK HEAD ACCELERATIONS GENERATED DURING SOCCER HEADING BY NOVICE FEMALES ARE GREATER THAN IN EXPERIENCED PLAYERS

H. A. Kerr, P. E. Riches.Department of Applied Physiology, University of Strathclyde, 76 Southbrae Drive, Glasgow, G13 1PP, UK

Aim: Investigation whether head accelerations differed between novice and experienced female players during soccer heading.

Methods: 9 novice and 4 experienced females headed a size 5 ball inflated to 8 psi and thrown at 3.1±0.7 m.s−1 30 times each, recorded at 500 Hz by a motion analysis system (Vicon Motion Analysis, Oxford, UK). Linear and angular acceleration values for a virtual head centre of mass were calculated, and were compared between the samples using a Student t-test (α = 0.05).

Results: The mean linear acceleration (± SD) for novices was 467±166 m.s−2 and for experienced players 324±202 m.s−2 (p<0.001). Mean angular acceleration for novices was 3887±3113 rad.s−2 and for experienced players 1608±866.2 rad.s−2 (p = 0.001). A full table of results is shown in Table 1.

Table 1

 Mean peak head accelerations for each subject

Discussion and conclusions: The results obtained for experienced women were similar to those of Naunheim et al.1 who recorded peak angular head accelerations of 1302 rad.s−2 in male soccer players during heading. Novice head accelerations were significantly greater, occurring in a range associated with sport related concussion.2

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