Background: Injuries are common in contact sports like Australian football. The Australian Football League (AFL) has developed an extensive injury surveillance database that can be used for epidemiological studies. Objectives: The purpose of this study is to identify any association between the three most prevalent injuries in the AFL. Patients and Methods: From the AFL injury surveillance data 1997-2012 the injury incidence (new injuries per club per season) and the injury prevalence data (missed games per club per season) were analysed to detect the three most common injuries that would cause a player to miss a match in the AFL. The three most prevalent injuries in the AFL are hamstring strains, groin/hip/osteitis pubis injuries and Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) knee injuries. Following this, further study was undertaken to detect the presence of any statistical relationship between injury incidences of the three most prevalent injuries over this sixteen year study period. Results: Statistical analysis demonstrates for any given year that there was an association between having a groin/hip/osteitis pubis injuriy and having a knee ACL injury (P < 0.05) over the entire sixteen years. In other words if the number of groin/hip/osteitis pubis injuries in any given season were higher than average (alternatively lower) then the number of knee ACL injuries were also higher than average (alternatively lower) for that same season. Hamstring injuries had the highest variance of incidence of the three most prevalent injuries. Conclusions: Analysis of the AFL injury data demonstrates an association between incidence of groin/hip/osteitis pubis injuries and incidence of knee ACL injuries for any given playing season. This finding is difficult to explain with further research being required.
- Anterior cruciate ligament
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine