The aim of this study was to describe the incidence, severity and type of shoulder injuries resulting from match play in adult community rugby union between 2009-2013. A total of 254 time-loss shoulder injuries were reported, an overall incidence of 2.2 per 1000 hours (95% CI: 1.9 to 2.4) and a mean injury severity of 9.5 weeks missed (95% CI: 8.2 to 10.8). The semi-professional group had an incidence of 2.8 injuries per 1000 hours (95% CI: 2.2 to 3.5), which was higher than the recreational group at 1.8 injuries per 1000 hours (95% CI: 1.4 to 2.2, p=0.004). The incidence of acromioclavicular joint injury for semi-professional players was 1.2 per 1000 hours (95% CI: 0.8–1.6); which was significantly higher than the incidence of this injury type in recreational players (0.5 per 1000 hours 95% CI: 0.3–0.7, p=0.002). Overall, back row players sustained the highest incidence of all shoulder injuries for a given playing position, 2.9 injuries per 1000 hours (95% CI: 2.2-3.6). The tackle was the main event associated with injury. Injury prevention programmes and coaching strategies that consider tackle technique and physical conditioning of the shoulder region are therefore considered important.
- injury epidemiology