This study was undertaken to determine whether the incidence of lower limb overuse injuries (LLOIs) sustained during Royal Marine training could be reduced by issuing the recruits with shock-absorbing insoles (SAIs) to wear in their military boots. This was a retrospective longitudinal trial conducted in two phases. Injury data from 1,416 recruits issued with standard Saran insoles and 1,338 recruits issued with SAI were compared. The recruits in the two groups were of similar height, body mass, and aerobic fitness and followed the same training course. The incidence of LLOI sustained by the recruits was lower (p < 0.05) in the SAI Group (19.0%) compared to the Saran Insole Group (31.7%). The incidences of lower limb stress fractures, tibial periostitis, tenosynovitis of foot, achilles tendonopathy, other tendonopathy and anterior knee pain were lower (p < 0.05) in the SAI Group. Tibial stress fracture incidence was lower (p < 0.05) in the SAI Group but metatarsal and femoral stress fracture incidences were the same for the two insole groups. Thus, issuing SAIs to military recruits undertaking a sustained, arduous physical training program with a high incidence of LLOI would provide a beneficial reduction in the incidence of LLOI.
Reprint & Copyright © 2013 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.