Article Text

Hip and groin time-loss injuries decreased slightly but injury burden remained constant in men’s professional football: the 15-year prospective UEFA Elite Club Injury Study
  1. Jonas Werner1,2,
  2. Martin Hägglund2,3,
  3. Jan Ekstrand2,4,
  4. Markus Waldén2,4,5
  1. 1Department of Orthopaedics, Vrinnevisjukhuset, Norrköping, Sweden
  2. 2Football Research Group, Linköping, Sweden
  3. 3Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  4. 4Division of Community Medicine, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  5. 5Department of Orthopaedics, Hässleholm-Kristianstad-Ystad Hospitals, Hässleholm, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jonas Werner, Department of Orthopaedics, Vrinnevisjukhuset, Norrköping SE-603 79, Sweden; jonas.werner{at}


Background Hip and groin injuries are common in men’s professional football, but the time-trend of these injuries is not known.

Aim To investigate hip and groin injury rates, especially time-trends, in men’s professional football over 15 consecutive seasons.

Study design Prospective cohort study.

Setting Men’s professional football.

Methods 47 European teams were followed prospectively for a varying number of seasons between 2001/2002 and 2015/2016, totalling 268 team seasons. Time-loss injuries and individual player exposure during training and matches were recorded. Injury rate was defined as the number of injuries/1000 hours and injury burden as the number of lay-off days/1000 hours. Time-trends for total hip and groin injuries and adductor-related injury rates were analysed using Poisson regression, and injury burden was analysed using a negative binomial regression model.

Results Hip and groin injuries contributed 1812 out of 12 736 injuries (14%), with adductor-related injury as the most common of hip and groin injuries (n=1139, 63%). The rates of hip and groin injury and adductor-related injury were 1.0/1000 hours and 0.6/1000 hours, and these rates decreased significantly with on average 2% (Exp(b)=0.98, 95% CI 0.97 to 0.99, P=0.003) and 3% (Exp(b)=0.97, 95% CI 0.95 to 0.99, P<0.001) per season (year on year), respectively. The seasonal trend of hip and groin injury burden did not improve (Exp(b)=0.99, 95% CI 0.97 to 1.01, P=0.40).

Conclusions Hip and groin injuries constitute a considerable part of all time-loss injuries in men’s professional football. Although there was a promising slight decreasing trend in the rates of hip and groin injury (as a category) and adductor-related injury (as a specific diagnosis), the injury burden remained at a consistent level over the study period.

  • groin
  • football
  • epidemiology
  • hip

Statistics from


  • Twitter Follow @jonwe747, @MHgglund, @janekstrand, @MarkusWalden, @frgsweden.

  • Contributors JW and MW were responsible for the conception and design of the study. JW and the statistical advisor conducted the analyses, which were planned and checked with MW, MH and JE. All authors contributed to the interpretation of findings and had full access to all data. JW wrote the first draft of the paper, which was critically revised by MW, MH and JE. The final manuscript has been approved by all authors. MW is the study guarantor.

  • Funding The Football Research Group has been established in Linköping, Sweden, in collaboration with Linköping University and through grants from the Union of European Football Associations and the Swedish National Centre for Research in Sports.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained

  • Ethics approval The study design was approved by the UEFA Medical Committee and the UEFA Football Development Division.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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