Background Only one previous injury surveillance study (Ekstrand et al., 2010) has been carried out for several seasons. Ekstrand et al. (2010) found that the injury incidence and pattern were stable during seven Champions League seasons.
Objective To monitor trends in injury incidence and pattern in Norwegian male professional football over six seasons.
Design Prospective cohort study where injuries and exposure were registered by team medical staff using the league injury surveillance system for six seasons (2002–2007). An injury was recorded when a player was unable to fully take part in football training or match play.
Setting Tippeligaen, the top 14 male Norwegian professional teams.
Main outcome measurement Injury incidence (injuries/1000 player-hours).
Results A total of 2365 injuries were recorded; 1664 (70.4%) acute injuries and 701 (29.6%) overuse injuries. The overall incidence of acute injuries was 16.1 per 1000 match hours (95% CI 15.1 to 17.1) and 1.9 (95% CI 1.7 to 2.0) per 1000 h of football training. The incidence of overuse injuries was 1.4 (95% CI 1.3 to 1.5).The incidence of overuse injuries and acute training injuries was consistent during the six-year study period. However, the risk of acute match injury increased (p=0.004). We could not detect any shifts in injury type, location, severity or re-injuries. No significant difference in the risk of acute match injuries (rate ratio (RR): 0.92, 95% CI 0.78 to 1.08), acute training injuries (RR: 1.16, 95% CI 0.99 to 1.36) or overuse injuries (RR: 1.07, 95% CI 0.91 to 1.25) was observed between preseason (January-March) and competitive season (April-October).
Conclusion The risk of acute match injuries in Norwegian male professional football increased during the six-season study period. However, we detected no change in the risk of training or overuse injuries or any difference between the preseason and competitive season.
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