Shoulder injury incidence and severity through identification of risk factors in rugby union players

Pak J Med Sci. 2013 Nov;29(6):1400-5. doi: 10.12669/pjms.296.3769.


Objective: This study aimed to analyze shoulder injury incidence and severity to reduce players' risk of sustaining injuries and missing playing time.

Methods: Ninety-five South African Premier team rugby Union players (mean: 25 years of age) took part in the study with injury data collected through the use of injury reports.

Results: This study found that approximately two of every five participants sampled incurred a primary shoulder injury with dislocation being the most prevalent. Twenty-one (80.8%) of the participants that experienced a primary shoulder injury also sustained a secondary shoulder injury with rotator cuff tears being most predominant. Only three players were found to have suffered tertiary shoulder injuries. The injuries were mainly related to tackling during training and matches. Twenty players were found to have adhered to a strength and conditioning program prior to their injuries and 14 of the injured participants received or adhered to a prehabilitation program. Eight of the injured players also suffered from recurrent injuries with dislocations being the most common.

Conclusions: RESULTS indicated that specific positions in rugby are at higher risk of shoulder injuries than others and that with the correct preventive measures put in place, the severity of injuries can be reduced.

Keywords: Contact sport; Prevalence; Rehabilitation.