Epidemiology and traumatology of injuries in soccer

Am J Sports Med. 1989 Nov-Dec;17(6):803-7. doi: 10.1177/036354658901700614.


A prospective investigation of soccer injuries among 123 players participating at various competition levels was undertaken in a Danish soccer club. The injury incidence during games was highest at division level (18.5/1000 hours) and lowest at series level (11.9/1000 hours), whereas the distribution of the incidences during practice was reversed. The youth section (16 to 18 years) had incidences that could be compared to the highest senior level. The lower extremity was involved in 84% of the injuries, including 34% of overuse injuries. Ankle sprains were most common (36%) and equally found at all levels, whereas half of all overuse injuries were seen among division players. Contact injuries during tackling occurred most often in lower series and youths (45%). Players participating at high levels had only 30% of the injuries during tackling and 54% during running. More than half of 20 knee injuries were caused by tackling. Thirty-five percent of injured players were absent from soccer for more than 1 month; 28% had complaints 12 months after the end of the season with knee injuries the most serious. The study shows that the injury incidence, the pattern of injury, and the traumatology varied between players participating at different levels of soccer competition.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ankle Injuries
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Knee Injuries / epidemiology
  • Knee Injuries / etiology
  • Knee Injuries / therapy
  • Leg Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Leg Injuries / etiology
  • Leg Injuries / therapy
  • Male
  • Soccer / injuries*