Background: Musculoskeletal injuries are a primary source of disability in the US Military, and low back pain and lower extremity injuries account for over 44% of limited work days annually. History of prior musculoskeletal injury increases the risk for future injury. This study aims to determine the risk of injury after returning to work from a previous injury. The objective is to identify criteria that can help predict likelihood for future injury or re-injury.
Methods: There will be 480 active duty soldiers recruited from across four medical centres. These will be patients who have sustained a musculoskeletal injury in the lower extremity or lumbar/thoracic spine, and have now been cleared to return back to work without any limitations. Subjects will undergo a battery of physical performance tests and fill out sociodemographic surveys. They will be followed for a year to identify any musculoskeletal injuries that occur. Prediction algorithms will be derived using regression analysis from performance and sociodemographic variables found to be significantly different between injured and non-injured subjects.
Discussion: Due to the high rates of injuries, injury prevention and prediction initiatives are growing. This is the first study looking at predicting re-injury rates after an initial musculoskeletal injury. In addition, multivariate prediction models appear to have move value than models based on only one variable. This approach aims to validate a multivariate model used in healthy non-injured individuals to help improve variables that best predict the ability to return to work with lower risk of injury, after a recent musculoskeletal injury.
Trial registration number: NCT02776930.
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