A video analysis of head injuries satisfying the criteria for a head injury assessment in professional Rugby Union: A prospective cohort study

Ross Tucker, Martin Raftery, Gordon Ward Fuller, Ben Hester, Simon Kemp, Matthew J. Cross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives Concussion is the most common match injury in professional Rugby Union, accounting for 25% of match injuries. The primary prevention of head injuries requires that the injury mechanism be known so that interventions can be targeted to specifically overall incidence by focusing on characteristics with the greatest propensity to cause a head injury. Methods 611 head injury assessment (HIA) events in professional Rugby Union over a 3-year period were analysed, with specific reference to match events, position, time and nature of head contact. Results 464 (76%) of HIA events occur during tackles, with the tackler experiencing a significantly greater propensity for an HIA than the ball carrier (1.40 HIAs/1000 tackles for the tackler vs 0.54 HIAs/1000 tackles for the ball carrier, incidence rate ratio (IRR) 2.59). Propensity was significantly greater for backline players than forwards (IRR 1.54, 95% CI 1.28 to 1.84), but did not increase over the course of the match. Head to head contact accounted for the most tackler HIAs, with the greatest propensity. Conclusions By virtue of its high propensity and frequency, the tackle should be the focus for interventions that may include law change and technique education. A specific investigation of the characteristics of the tackle is warranted to refine the approach to preventative strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1147-1151
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume51
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • concussion
  • head
  • injury
  • injury prevention
  • rugby

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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