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Gymnastics injury incidence during the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games: analysis of prospectively collected surveillance data from 963 registered gymnasts during Olympic Games
  1. Pascal Edouard1,2,
  2. Kathrin Steffen3,4,
  3. Astrid Junge5,6,
  4. Michel Leglise7,
  5. Torbjørn Soligard4,
  6. Lars Engebretsen3,4,8
  1. 1Inter‐university Laboratory of Human Movement Science, University of Lyon, University Jean Monnet, Saint Etienne, France
  2. 2Department of Clinical and Exercise Physiology, Sports Medicine Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospitalof Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne, France
  3. 3Department of Sports Medicine, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre, Oslo, Norway
  4. 4Department of Medical and Scientific, International Olympic Committee, Lausanne, Switzerland
  5. 5Medical School Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  6. 6Swiss Concussion Centre, Schulthess clinik, Zurich, Switzerland
  7. 7International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), Lausanne, Switzerland
  8. 8Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Dr Pascal Edouard, Department of Clinical and Exercise Physiology, Sports Medicine unit, IRMIS, Campus Santé Innovations, University Hospital of Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne cedex 2, France; Pascal.Edouard42{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Objective To determine the incidence and characteristics of injuries in female and male gymnastics disciplines (artistic, rhythmic and trampoline) during three Olympic Games with a view to ultimately improving injury prevention.

Methods The National Olympic Committee’s head physicians and the medical teams of the Local Organising Committee of the Olympic Games reported daily the occurrence (or non-occurrence) of newly sustained injuries in artistic, rhythmic and trampoline gymnastics on a standardised report form during the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Results During the three Olympic Games, 81 injuries were reported in a total of 963 registered gymnasts, corresponding to an incidence of 84 injuries (95% CI 67 to 102) per 1000 registered gymnasts, with no difference in injury incidence between female and male gymnasts. Thirty-eight per cent of injuries led to time-loss from sport. The most frequent injury location and injury type were the ankle (22%) and sprain (35%), respectively. The most common diagnosis was ankle sprain (14% of all injuries and 23% of time-loss injuries). The injury incidence was highest in female (107±35) and male artistic gymnastics (83±32), followed by female rhythmic gymnastics (73±30), and lower in male (63±69) and female (43±43) trampoline gymnastics.

Conclusions Research should focus on preventing injuries in artistic gymnastics and of the condition of ankle sprain. Injury surveillance studies should be continued during major championships and throughout the entire competitive season as the Olympic Games provides only a snapshot (although an important one).

  • epidemiology
  • gymnastics
  • olympics
  • injury
  • injury prevention

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Footnotes

  • Contributors PE: substantial contributions to the conception and design of the study, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting, writing and revising of the manuscript, and final approval of the version to be published. KS: substantial contributions to the conception and design of the study, collection, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting, writing and revising of the manuscript, and final approval of the version to be published. AJ: substantial contributions to the conception and design of the project, collection and interpretation of data, revision of the manuscript, and final approval of the version to be published. ML: substantial contributions to the interpretation of data, revision of the manuscript, and final approval of the version to be published. TS: substantial contributions to the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, revision of the manuscript, and final approval of the version to be published. LE: substantial contributions to the conception and design of the project, collection and interpretation of data, revision of the manuscript, and final approval of the version to be published.

  • Funding The data acquisition was funded by the International Olympic Committee, which has contributed to planning, developing and executing the injury surveillance procedure from with the Beijing Games onwards.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval The present study is a part of an injury and illness surveillance study during the Olympic Games, which was reviewed and approved by the medical research ethics committee of the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority, Norway (2011/388-4).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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