Background In International Association of Athletics Federation and European Athletics competitions, higher injury incidences were reported for athletes participating in combined events.
Objective To record and analyze the incidence and characteristics of injuries incurred during Youth and National combined events Championships.
Design Prospective recording of newly occurred injuries.
Setting French Athletics Combined Events Championships in Athletics 2010 in Saint-Etienne, France.
Participants Local Organising Committee (LOC) physicians and physiotherapists working in the Medical Centres at the stadium.
Main outcome measures Incidence and characteristics of newly occurred injuries.
Results A total of 51 injuries and 9 time-loss injuries were recorded among 107 registered athletes, corresponding in an incidence of 477 injuries and 84 time-loss injuries per 1000 registered athletes. 72.5% of injuries affected lower limbs. The most common diagnosis was thigh strain (17.6%), followed by trunk muscle cramps (11.8%), knee tendinopathy (9.8%), and ankle sprain (9.8%). Overuse injuries were the most common injury cause (60.8%), either with gradual (33.3%) and sudden onset (27.5%), followed by non-contact trauma (31.4%). Among the 14 dropouts recorded, about two third were caused by an injury (57.1%).
Conclusions During combined events championships at the youth and national, over one third of the registered athletes incurred an injury. This represented a higher injury incidence than during international elite athletics competitions. Moreover, these injuries concerned a younger population and affecting immature musculoskeletal structures. In combined events, preventive interventions should mainly focus on overuse and thigh injuries.
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