Background: The epidemiology of injury in Paralympic football has received little attention. A study of all sports at the London 2012 Paralympic Games identified football 5-a-side as the sport with the highest injury rate, meriting further detailed analysis, which may facilitate the development of strategies to prevent injuries.
Objective: To examine the injury rates and risk factors associated with injury in Paralympic football.
Design: Secondary analysis of a prospective cohort study of injuries to football 5-a-side and football 7-a-side athletes.
Setting: London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Participants: Participants included 70 football 5-a-side athletes and 96 football 7-a-side athletes. Athletes from all but one country chose to participate in this study.
Methods: The Paralympic Injury and Illness Surveillance System was used to track injuries during the Games, with data entered by medical staff.
Main outcome measurements: Injury incidence rate (IR) and injury incidence proportion (IP).
Results: The overall IR for football 5-a-side was 22.4 injuries/1000 athlete-days (95% confidence interval [CI], 14.1-33.8) with an IP of 31.4 injuries per 100 athletes (95% CI, 20.9-43.6). In 5-a-side competition, 62.5% of injuries were associated with foul play. The overall IR for football 7-a-side was 10.4 injuries/1000 athlete-days (95% CI, 5.4-15.5), with an IP of 14.6 injuries per 100 athletes (95% CI, 7.5-21.6). The most commonly injured body region in both sports was the lower extremity.
Conclusions: To our knowledge, this study is the first to examine IR and risk factors associated with injury in Paralympic football. Future studies are needed to determine mechanisms of injury and independent risk factors for injury, thus informing prevention strategies.
Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.