The epidemiology of ankle injuries in professional rugby union players

Am J Sports Med. 2008 Dec;36(12):2415-24. doi: 10.1177/0363546508322889. Epub 2008 Sep 8.


Background: Ankle injuries represent a considerable proportion of injuries to professional rugby union players; however, there is a scarcity of detailed epidemiology about these injuries.

Purpose: To describe the epidemiology and assess the risk factors associated with ankle injuries sustained by a cohort of professional rugby union players.

Study design: Descriptive epidemiology study.

Method: Medical personnel prospectively reported time-loss injuries in professional rugby union in England, and the ankle injuries were evaluated.

Results: Lateral ankle ligament injuries were the most common injury reported during matches and training, and together with Achilles tendon injuries, they accounted for more than half of the absence due to injury. The incidence rate of injuries was highest in second-row forwards. More than a quarter of injuries were recurrences.

Conclusion: Lateral ankle ligament injuries and Achilles tendon injuries should be a focus of injury prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation strategies in professional rugby union players.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Football / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology