A profile of Australian football injuries presenting to sports medicine clinics

J Sci Med Sport. 2001 Dec;4(4):386-95. doi: 10.1016/s1440-2440(01)80048-7.


Most of the published data describing Australian football injuries is from hospital emergency departments and elite injury surveillance studies. There is a lack of good information about injuries to players at the lower levels of participation and those not severe enough to warrant hospital treatment. This study describes the profile of Australian football injuries that present to sports medicine clinics for treatment. New sports injury cases, presenting to five metropolitan Melbourne sports medicine clinics during a 12 month period in 1996-1997, were recorded through the Sports Medicine Injury Surveillance project. Both the patient and treating health professional provided personal and injury details. Australian football accounted for 29% of the 6479 recorded injury cases. The majority of injured players were male (99%) and from adult, community leagues (78%); the mean age was 23 years. Competition accounted for 78% of injuries and 72% of injured players presented for treatment to a sports physician/medical practitioner. Body contact accounted for half of all injuries and the most common injuries were medial ligament sprains of the knee (7%), lateral ligament sprains of the ankle (6%) and anterior cruciate ligament injuries (4%). In conclusion, sports medicine clinics treat a wide variety of football injuries and appear to be a good source of data about injuries to non-elite participants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New South Wales / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Soccer / injuries*
  • Sprains and Strains / epidemiology