Football injuries and physical symptoms. A review of the literature

Am J Sports Med. 2000;28(5 Suppl):S3-9. doi: 10.1177/28.suppl_5.s-3.


Football is one of the most popular sports worldwide. The frequency of football injuries is estimated to be approximately 10 to 35 per 1000 playing hours. The majority of injuries occur in the lower extremities, mainly in the knees and ankles; the number of head injuries is probably underestimated. The average cost for medical treatment per football injury is estimated to be $150 (U.S. dollars). Considering the number of active football players worldwide, the socioeconomic and financial consequences of injury are of such a proportion that a prevention program to reduce the incidence of injuries is urgently required. For this reason, an analysis of intrinsic (person-related) and extrinsic (environment-related) risk factors was undertaken based on a review of the current literature. It was concluded that the epidemiologic information regarding the sports medicine aspects of football injuries is inconsistent and far from complete because of the employment of heterogeneous methods, various definitions of injury, and different characteristics of the assessed teams. The aim of this study was to analyze the literature on the incidence of injuries and symptoms in football players, as well as to identify risk factors for injury and to demonstrate possibilities for injury prevention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Equipment Failure
  • Football / injuries*
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Joint Instability
  • Male
  • Risk Factors