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Injury incidence and characteristics for elite, male, artistic USA gymnastics competitions from 2008 to 2018


Objectives To determine the injury incidence and characteristics for elite, male, artistic USA gymnasts during gymnastics competitions, held in the USA, from 2008 to 2018.

Methods Injury documentation performed by lead physician and certified athletic trainers at elite junior and senior USA Gymnastics competitions from 2008 to 2018 were reviewed and compiled into an excel database. Injury incidence was computed per 1000 registered gymnasts by competition setting as well as injury location, type, cause, severity, and setting.

Results From 2008 to 2018, 180 injuries were reported in a total of 2102 gymnasts with injury incidence of 85.6 per 1000 gymnasts (95% CI 73.4 to 97.8). The most common injury site was at the ankle (16.7 per 1000 gymnasts, 95% CI 10.9 to 22.4), and muscle strain/rupture/tear was the most common type of injury (28.5 per 1000 gymnasts, 95% CI 21.2 to 35.9). The most common cause was contact with surface (56.1 per 1000 gymnasts, 95% CI 46.1 to 66.2), and the event where most injuries were sustained was the vault (21.9 per 1000 gymnasts, 95% CI 15.4 to 28.4). Incidence of time loss injuries was 38.5 per 1000 gymnasts (95% CI 30.1 to 47.0). Injury incidence was higher during competition (58.5 per 1000 gymnasts, 95% CI 48.2 to 68.8) than during training (27.1 per 1000 RG, 95% CI 19.9 to 34.3; RR 2.16, 95% CI 1.59 to 2.94, p<0.001); injury incidence was greater at Olympic Trials (RR 3.23, 95% CI 1.24 to 8.47, p=0.017) than at National Qualifier meets. We report concussion incidence in gymnastics (5.7 per 1000 gymnasts, 95% CI 2.3 to 9.2).

Conclusions This is the largest injury study to date for male artistic gymnasts (180 injuries, 2102 gymnasts, 11 years).

  • gymnastics
  • injuries
  • concussion
  • injury prevention

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