Musculoskeletal injuries are the most common cause for disability in deployed environments. Current research is limited to body region affected by the injury.
Objective: To determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal diagnoses and mechanisms of injury (MOI) as well as associations to specific Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) in a deployed Brigade Combat Team (BCT).
Methods: Data collected on 3,066 patient encounters by the Brigade Combat Team physical therapist over 15 months were analyzed using descriptive statistics and X2 tests.
Results: Mechanical low back pain was the most common diagnosis (19%), whereas overuse was the most prevalent MOI (22%). The Infantry MOS was significantly associated with meniscal tears and pre-existing injuries, the Maintenance MOS with contusions, Signal and Transportation MOSs with weight lifting injuries, and the Administrative MOS with running injuries.
Conclusion: Different MOSs are preferentially susceptible to different diagnoses and MOIs. Therefore, different injury prevention strategies may be needed across occupations.