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267 A systematic review of musculoskeletal injuries in professional golfers
  1. Patrick Robinson1,
  2. Iain Murray1,
  3. Andrew Duckworth1,
  4. Roger Hawkes2,
  5. Danny Glover2,
  6. Nigel Tilley2,
  7. Rob Hillman2,
  8. Chris Oliver1,3,
  9. Andrew Murray2
  1. 1Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2European Tour Performance Institute, Virginia Water, UK
  3. 3Department of Sports and Exercise/Physical Activity for Health, Edinburgh, UK


Background The distribution of professional golfing injuries is poorly understood.

Objective The aim of the study was to perform a systematic review to describe the epidemiology of musculoskeletal injuries in professional golfers.

Design A systematic review using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. The databases used were Pubmed, SportDiscus and Embase. The inclusion criteria was published observational research articles relating to the incidence or prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries in professional golfers, which were written in the English language and not restricted by age or gender.

Setting Professional golf.

Main Outcome Measurements Data collected included age, sex, data collection methods, diagnosis, region of injury, side of injury, incidence/prevalence of injury, definition of injury, nature of injury, severity of injury, mechanism of injury, risk factors, length of golfing career, injury management and time to return to sport.

Results Of the 1863 studies identified on the initial search, five studies were found to satisfy the inclusion criteria for analysis. The mean age of the golfers in these studies was 34.8 (± 3.6) years. The gender of patients in included studies compromised 72% males and 28% females. Four studies reported that lumbar spine injuries were the most common (range 22–34%). Excluding injuries to the spine (lumbar, thoracic and cervical), the hand/wrist was the next most common region of injury (range 6–37%). The quality of the studies was relatively poor with no study satisfying >50% of the quality assessment tool questions and only one study giving a clear definition of how they defined injury.

Conclusions There is a paucity of well-designed epidemiological studies evaluating musculoskeletal injuries affecting professional golfers. Injuries to the spine are the most frequently affected region, followed by the hand/wrist. This study has identified targeted areas of future research that aims to improve the management of injuries among professional golfers.

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