Ice hockey injuries. A review

Sports Med. 1990 Aug;10(2):122-31. doi: 10.2165/00007256-199010020-00005.


Ice hockey is a fast-paced game involving both finesse and controlled aggression. Injuries are related to direct trauma (80%) and overuse (20%), with high puck velocities, aggressive stick use, and body checking (collisions) accounting for most of these. A participant can anticipate an injury after playing 7 to 100 hours of hockey, depending on his age, and most injuries are caused during the actual game rather than during practice. Although facial injuries are common, they are decreasing because of adequate use of helmets and masks. Conversely, cervical spine injuries are being reported more frequently. Injuries to the upper extremity include acromioclavicular joint dislocations, scaphoid fractures, and 'gamekeeper's thumb.' Injuries to the lower extremity predominantly involve soft tissue, with strains of the hip adductor, tears of the medial collateral ligament of the knee, and contusions of the thigh are common. Scientific studies have reduced injury by providing improved protective equipment, stricter rules and their enforcement, and effective training and conditioning.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arm Injuries / epidemiology
  • Arm Injuries / prevention & control
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / prevention & control
  • Epidemiologic Factors
  • Eye Injuries / epidemiology
  • Eye Injuries / prevention & control
  • Hockey / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Leg Injuries / epidemiology
  • Leg Injuries / prevention & control
  • Protective Devices
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control