Lower limb and back injury patterns of elite netball players

Sports Med. 1993 Aug;16(2):148-62. doi: 10.2165/00007256-199316020-00006.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between lower limb and back injuries with perceived landing patterns and podiatric variables for injured and uninjured elite netball players. 228 players of a possible 240 participants at the 1988 Australian netball championships completed injury questionnaires and were assessed for injury status. Approximately 92% of those who were part of the injury surveys were also given a podiatric assessment. Pearson chi 2 and unpaired t-tests were used to assess relationships between injury status in 2 groups (history of injury, and injuries sustained during the championships) and perceived landing patterns during play and podiatric variables. A significant association was found between history of lower limb and back injuries and level of competition. Open age netballers reported more injuries than the younger players. During each championship, a similar number of players (23%) were injured irrespective of playing level. 71% of these players sustained a grade 1 injury, 15.4% a grade 2 injury and 13.5% presented with severe grade 3 injuries. 2 players were diagnosed with an anterior cruciate ligament injury and a further 3 players sustained a fracture during the championships. Most of the injuries were ligamentous (40.5%) with some overuse tendinitis (11.5%) problems. The injury history profiles of the elite players surveyed showed that ankle and knee injuries were the most common lower limb injuries with incidences of 58 and 22%, respectively. More than a quarter of the players had overuse type injuries (24% retropatellar pain, 38% shin soreness) and 33% complained of back problems during their careers. 18 significant relationships were found between injuries sustained during a player's career and podiatric measures. Only 22.5% of a player's foot types were classified as normal while 42% presented with rearfoot varus and 20% were grouped into pronated foot postures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Back Injuries*
  • Humans
  • Leg Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Western Australia / epidemiology