Objective To determine the incidence, prevalence and nature of sports injuries in elite male hurling players.
Design Prospective study of county-grade hurling teams. Incidence, prevalence and descriptions of injuries were collated.
Setting Four county teams during the 2007 season; January to September inclusive.
Participants A total of 127 male players were followed over 34 weeks. Data were collected on a median (IQR) of 31 (30–32) players per team per week. The mean age was 23.3±2.5 years.
Results There were 204 injuries to 104 players (82%, 95% CI (74 to 88)). Injury incidence rate during match-play (102.5 (84.4 to 123.2)) was 19 times higher than for training (5.3 (4.2 to 6.5)) (RR=19.5 (14.8 to 25.6)). The mean weekly prevalence of injury was 13.9% (12.5 to 14.8). Most injuries were new (n=170, 83.3%, (77.6 to 87.8)) and acute (n=165, 80.9% (74.9 to 85.7)). Muscle strain (n=86) accounted for 42.2% (35.6 to 49) of the total. 71% of injuries were to the lower limb (n=143, (63.5 to 76.0)) with hamstring strain (n=33, 16.5% (11.8 to 21.8)) predominating. Fractures constituted 7.4% injuries (n=15, 95% CI (4.5 to 11.8)), 12 of which were to the upper limb. There were three (1.5% (0.5 to 4.2)) eye injuries and one concussion injury (0.5% (0.1 to 2.7)).
Conclusions These results provide data on hurling injuries using definitions that reflect international consensus statements. Injury incidence from match-play in particular is high compared with other sports. These findings have relevance for clinicians and coaches.
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Funding Gaelic Athletic Association.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval Provided by the UCD Dublin Ethics Committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.