A Decade of Hip Injuries in National Collegiate Athletic Association Football Players: An Epidemiologic Study Using National Collegiate Athletic Association Surveillance Data

J Athl Train. 2019 May;54(5):483-488. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-59-18. Epub 2019 May 14.


Context: The complex, high-energy nature of football puts players at risk for hip injuries.

Objective: To analyze National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Injury Surveillance Program data for men's football hip injuries from 2004-2005 through 2013-2014.

Design: Descriptive epidemiologic study.

Setting: National Collegiate Athletic Association football teams.

Patients or other participants: Data on collegiate football players was provided by the NCAA Injury Surveillance System from 2004-2005 through 2013-2014.

Main outcome measure(s): The incidence, risk factors, rates, and distribution of hip injuries over the 10-year period from 2004-2005 through 2013-2014 were determined. Rates and distribution of injuries were analyzed by injury type, time loss, event type, time of season, recurrence, mechanism of injury, player position, and if surgery was required. Injury rate ratios were calculated to compare rates between event types and by time of season.

Results: A total of 1618 hip injuries occurred during 3 121 380 athlete-exposures (AEs), resulting in an overall hip injury rate of 5.18 per 10 000 AEs. Adductor strains (38.63%) were the most common type, followed by hip-flexor strains (28.55%) and hip contusions (18.23%). Players were 3.56 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.19, 3.98) times more likely to sustain a hip injury during competitions compared with practices. They were 2.37 (95% CI = 2.15, 2.62) and 3.56 (95% CI = 2.49, 5.08) times more likely to sustain a hip injury during the preseason than in-season or the postseason, respectively.

Conclusions: During the 10-year period, NCAA football players sustained higher rates of hip injuries during competitions and the preseason. The majority were noncontact injuries, resulted in time loss of less than 6 days, and did not require surgery. The injuries varied with player position and occurred most often to defensive backs. Muscle strains were the most frequent group of hip injuries, while adductor strains, hip-flexor strains, and hip contusions were the most common injury types.

Keywords: athletes; collision sports; injury surveillance.

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries* / classification
  • Athletic Injuries* / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries* / prevention & control
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Female
  • Football / injuries*
  • Hip Injuries* / classification
  • Hip Injuries* / epidemiology
  • Hip Injuries* / etiology
  • Hip Injuries* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult