Adolescent musculoskeletal injuries in a football academy

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2007 Jan;89(1):5-8. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.89B1.18427.


Interest in football continues to increase, with ever younger age groups participating at a competitive level. Football academies have sprung up under the umbrella of professional clubs in an attempt to nurture and develop such talent in a safe manner. However, increased participation predisposes the immature skeleton to injury. Over a five-year period we have prospectively collected data concerning all injuries presenting to the medical team at Newcastle United football academy. We identified 685 injuries in our cohort of 210 players with a mean age of 13.5 years (9 to 18). The majority of injuries (542;79%) were to the lower limb. A total of 20 surgical procedures were performed. Contact injuries accounted for 31% (210) of all injuries and non-contact for 69% (475). The peaks of injury occurred in early September and March. The 15- and 16-year-old age group appeared most at risk, independent of hours of participation. Strategies to minimise injury may be applicable in both the academy setting and the wider general community.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • England / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Leg Injuries / epidemiology
  • Leg Injuries / etiology
  • Male
  • Musculoskeletal System / injuries*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Seasons
  • Soccer / injuries*
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / epidemiology
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / etiology