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The Nordic Football Injury Audit: higher injury rates for professional football clubs with third-generation artificial turf at their home venue
  1. Karolina Kristenson1,2,
  2. John Bjørneboe3,
  3. Markus Waldén1,2,
  4. Thor Einar Andersen3,
  5. Jan Ekstrand1,2,4,
  6. Martin Hägglund2,5
  1. 1Division of Community Medicine, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  2. 2Football Research Group, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  3. 3Department of Sports Medicine, Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway
  4. 4UEFA Medical Committee, Nyon, Switzerland
  5. 5Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Dr Karolina Kristenson, Division of Community Medicine, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping SE-581 83, Sweden; karolina.kristensson{at}liu.se

Abstract

Background Previously, no difference in acute injury rate has been found when playing football on artificial turf (AT) compared with natural grass (NG).

Aim To compare acute injury rates in professional football played on AT and NG at the individual player level; and to compare, at club level, acute and overuse injury rates between clubs that have AT at their home venue (AT clubs) and clubs that have NG (NG clubs).

Methods 32 clubs (AT, n=11; NG, n=21) in the male Swedish and Norwegian premier leagues were followed prospectively during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Injury rate was expressed as the number of time loss injuries/1000 h and compared with rate ratio (RR) and 99% CI.

Results No statistically significant differences were found in acute injury rates on AT compared with NG during match play (RR 0.98, 99% CI 0.79 to 1.22) or training (RR 1.14, 99% CI 0.86 to 1.50) when analysing at the individual player level. When analysing at the club level, however, AT clubs had a significantly higher acute training injury rate (RR 1.31, 99% CI 1.04 to 1.63) and overuse injury rate (RR 1.38, 99% CI 1.14 to 1.65) compared with NG clubs.

Conclusions At the individual player level, no significant differences were found in acute injury rates when playing on AT compared with NG. However, clubs with AT at their home venue had higher rates of acute training injuries and overuse injuries compared with clubs that played home matches on NG.

  • Ankle injuries
  • Epidemiology
  • Lower extremity injuries
  • Soccer
  • Sporting injuries

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