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American football injuries in Finland.
  1. J Karpakka
  1. Department of Sports Medicine, Deaconess Institute of Oulu, Finland.


    American football is currently played in 14 European countries. It is a contact sport where injuries are inevitable. In this study, injuries causing more than one week of absence from game or practise were registered during the 1991 preseason and season. A total of 112 injuries was reported among 684 players. Knees were most vulnerable to injury (28.6%) followed by ankle injuries (16.7%). Operations were performed on 28 (25%) of the injured players. Catastrophic injuries can occur in this sport, but none has happened in Finland during the 12 years for which the sport has been practised. The skill level was not a contributing factor. The frequency of injuries and their profile closely resemble those in US-based studies so it is suggested that the precautions and preventive measures recommended in the USA should be applied and followed in Europe.

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