Shoulder Injuries in National Collegiate Athletic Association Quarterbacks: 10-Year Epidemiology of Incidence, Risk Factors, and Trends

Sailesh V. Tummala, David E. Hartigan, Karan A. Patel, Justin L. Makovicka, Anikar Chhabra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Background: Up to 50% of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football players have a history of shoulder injuries. The quarterback position has been shown to have a high prevalence of these injuries because of its unique exposures. There is little information regarding the shoulder injury type and mechanism in NCAA quarterbacks. Purpose: To understand the 10-year epidemiology of specific shoulder injury rates in NCAA quarterbacks. Study Design: Descriptive epidemiology study. Methods: Shoulder injury data for collegiate football quarterbacks from the 2004 through 2014 academic years were analyzed using the NCAA Injury Surveillance Program (ISP) data set. Results: Over the 10-year study period, a total of 133 shoulder injuries to collegiate quarterbacks were reported, with 157,288 quarterback exposures. There was approximately 1 shoulder injury per 1221 exposures. The most common injuries noted were acromioclavicular sprains (45.1%, n = 60), followed by shoulder contusions (9.0%, n = 12), clavicular fractures (7.5%, n = 10), and anterior instability (5.3%, n = 7). The majority of injuries were caused by contact with a player (60.2%, n = 80) or contact with a playing surface (28.6%, n = 38), and 88% (n = 117) were deemed nonsurgical in nature. Conclusion: NCAA ISP data analysis suggests that collegiate quarterbacks sustain acute contact injuries 89% of the time and that they typically occur while being tackled, resulting in a time loss of less than 2 weeks. These injuries are commonly treated nonsurgically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 21 2018



  • AC joint
  • football-related shoulder injuries
  • positional injuries
  • quarterback
  • shoulder contusion
  • shoulder injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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