Injuries in amateur soccer players on artificial turf: a one-season prospective study

Phys Ther Sport. 2013 Aug;14(3):146-51. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2012.05.003. Epub 2012 Oct 13.


Background: Epidemiological studies in soccer are important for injury prevention. However, most of the available information is limited to elite players.

Objective: To determine the epidemiology of injuries in amateur soccer players on artificial turf.

Design: Prospective cohort study during one competitive season (2010-2011).

Setting: Amateur soccer players.

Participants: 231 players (aged 24.7; range: 18-38 years).

Main outcome measures: Injury incidence was recorded prospectively according to the consensus statement for soccer.

Results: 213 injuries were recorded; 57% of the players suffered injuries. Injury incidence was 5.1 (95% CI: 4.3-5.9) injuries/1000 h exposure. Injury incidence was higher in matches than in training (32.2 [95% CI: 23.1-41.3] vs. 2.4 [95% CI: 1.8-3.0] injuries/1000 h; p < 0.001). The thigh (22.1%), knee (20.2%), and ankle (19.2%) were the most affected regions. The most frequent diagnoses were thigh strain/muscle rupture (18.3%), and ankle and knee strain/ligament injury (17.3% and 11.3%, respectively). Time-loss due to injury was 20.3 (95% CI: 16.8-23.73) days. Most injuries (79%) were traumatic; 21% were overuse injuries. Re-injuries accounted for 10% of all injuries sustained during the season.

Conclusions: Injury incidence in amateur soccer players is higher during matches played on artificial turf than during training sessions.

Keywords: Association football; Competitive level; Incidence; Injury risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Floors and Floorcoverings*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Portugal / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Soccer / injuries*