Football injuries in a rural area

Wis Med J. 1996 Aug;95(8):570-3.


This study was conducted to analyze the frequency and characteristics of football injuries in a rural hospital setting and compare it to the national data. More than 6,000 patients with a sport-related injury presenting to the emergency medicine department at the Marshfield Clinic between June 1, 1988 and June 1, 1994 were collected prospectively. Eight hundred forty-three (14% of total) patients sustained football-related injuries. A chart abstraction form was then used to retrospectively review football injuries documenting types, sites, and mechanism of injury, along with demographic aspects. The peak age sustaining football injuries was 17 years old (17.5%). Most of the football injuries occurred during school activities (73.7%). The most common site injured was the finger (16.5%), followed by the knee (15.7%). Sprains/strains were the most common diagnosis representing 40.2% of injuries overall. The most common mechanism resulting in a football-related injury was as a result of being blocked or tackled (52.7%). Surgery was required on 4.9% of individuals injured while playing football. Most patients (69.7%) were expected to recover from their injury within 14 days. There were more injured football players from our area in the age group 15 to 24 years as compared to the national data available. Diagnosis, site injured, and mechanism of injury from our study were comparable to other national publications. Prospective studies are needed to address the problem of football-related injuries. Such studies would require a multidiscipline team of experts.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Football / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Information Systems
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population
  • Wisconsin / epidemiology