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P42 A 9-year prospective study of ankle sprains in elite gaelic football
  1. M Roe1,2,
  2. E Delahunt1,
  3. JC Murphy3,
  4. C Gissane4,
  5. C Blake1
  1. 1School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2Gaelic Sports Research Centre, Department of Science, Institute of Technology Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3Medfit Proactive Healthcare, Dublin, Ireland
  4. 4School of Sport, Health and Applied Science, St Mary’s University, London, UK


Study Design Prospective cohort.

Objective To desribe incidence of ankle sprain injuries in elite Gaelic football.

Background Ankle sprains are a common injury in field sports, however, epidemiological data to guide injury prevention programmes have yet to be reported in Gaelic football.

Methods and Measures Sixteen elite Gaelic football teams supplied exposure and time-loss injury datasets for n=33 seasons to the National GAA Injury Surveillance Database from 2008 to 2016.

Results Ankle sprains (n=121) accounted for 7.3% (95% CI 6.0–8.6) of all injuries. Prevalence was 7.0% (95% CI 5.7–8.2) per season. Incidence was 0.6 (95% CI 0.5–0.7) per 1000 exposure hours yet 13.5-times (95% CI 9.2–19.8) greater in match-play (3.2, 95% CI 2.4–3.9) than in training (0.2, 95% CI 0.2–0.3). The median team rate per season was 3 (IQR 2–5). Most ankle sprains occurred during match-play (59.7%, 95% CI 51.2–68.1). Contact with another player was reponsible for 18.5% (95% CI 11.8–25.2) of injuries. Acute onset was associated with 89.1% (95% CI 83.2–94.1). Overall, 16.1% (95% CI 18.5–34.5) of injuries were classified as recurrent with 34.1% of these (95% CI 10.3–41.4) sustained ≤8 weeks following return to play. Mean time-loss was 21.8 days (95% CI 16.6–28.2) with 67.1% (95% CI 59.8–74.8) of players returning to play within the same season. Previous injury increased odds of a sustaining an ankle sprain (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.5–6.8). Incidence rate ratio was greatest for goalkeepers (2.1, 95% CI 1.1–4.1) and midfield players (1.4, 95% CI 0.9–2.2) when compared to other playing positions.

Conclusion The high proportion of non-contact ankle sprains suggests the need to review current risk management strategies. Focus should be directed towards increased rates during match-play, across playing positions, and among previously injured players.

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