Soccer after anterior cruciate ligament injury--an incompatible combination? A national survey of incidence and risk factors and a 7-year follow-up of 310 players

Acta Orthop Scand. 1995 Apr;66(2):107-12. doi: 10.3109/17453679508995501.


All players in Swedish soccer teams are required to have insurance in the same company. From the archives of the insurance company, all 3,735 injuries reported in 1986 in 188,152 Swedish soccer players were reviewed. Of these, 937 were knee injuries. All players were asked by mail to fill in a questionnaire and 83 percent replied. The patient records from the different hospitals were requested. The anterior cruciate injuries represented one third of the reported knee injuries. The relative risk of sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury was increased in female players, in elite players, and in players in the forward position. The odds ratios were 1.6 (1.3-2.1), 3.3 (1.7-6.1) and 1.8 (1.4-2.5), respectively. The injuries occurred at a younger age in females than in males. 50 percent of the injured players were treated with anterior cruciate ligament surgery, predominantly as a reconstructive procedure, with use of a patellar tendon transplant. 30 (20) percent of the players with anterior cruciate ligament injury were active in soccer after 3 (7) years, compared to 80 (50) percent of an injured control population of soccer players. None of the elite players was active at the same level after 7 years. A comparison of anterior cruciate ligament-injured players, whether treated by surgical reconstruction or not, revealed no difference with regard to the proportion of players still playing soccer after 7 years.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Rupture
  • Soccer / injuries*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome