Background: The effects of synthetic surfaces on the risk of injuries is still debated in literature and the majority of published data seems to be contradictory. For such reasons the understanding of injury incidence on such surfaces, especially in youth sport, is fundamental for injury prevention. Objectives: The aim of this study was to prospectively report the epidemiology of injuries in young football players, playing on artificial turfs, during a one sports season. Patients and Methods: 80 young male football players (age 16.1 ± 3.7 years; height 174 ± 6.6 cm; weight 64.2 ± 6.3 kg) were enrolled in a prospective cohort study. The participants were then divided in two groups; the first included players age ranging from 17 to 19 (OP) whereas the second included players age ranging from 13 to 16 (YP). Injury incidence was recorded prospectively, according to the consensus statement for soccer. Results: A total of 107 injuries (35 from the OP and 72 from the YP) were recorded during an exposure time of 83.760 hours (incidence 1.28/1000 per player hours); 22 during matches (incidence 2.84/1000 per player hours, 20.5%) and 85 during training (incidence 1.15/1000 per player hours, 79.5%). Thigh and groin were the most common injury locations (33.6% and 21.5%, respectively) while muscle injuries such as contractures and strains were the most common injury typologies (68.23%). No statistical differences between groups were displayed, except for the rate of severe injuries during matches, with the OP displaying slightly higher rates compared to the YP. Severe injuries accounted for 10.28% of the total injuries reported. The average time lost due to injuries was 14 days. Re-injuries accounted for 4.67% of all injuries sustained during the season. Conclusions: In professional youth soccer injury rates are reasonably low. Muscle injuries are the most common type of injuries while groin and thigh the most common locations. Artificial turf pitches don’t seem to contribute to injury incidence in young football players.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine