Subsequent injuries and early recurrent diagnoses in elite Rugby Union players

Sean Williams, Grant Trewartha, Simon P T Kemp, Matthew Cross, John H M Brooks, Colin W Fuller, Aileen E Taylor, Keith Stokes

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6 Citations (SciVal)


An eight season (2005/06-2012/13) prospective cohort design was used to record time-loss injuries in 15 English Premiership teams. Data pertaining to a total of 1556 players and 9597 injuries (8180 subsequent) were included in the analysis. Injuries subsequent to an index injury were classified as (1) New: different site; (2) Local: same site (and different type); or (3) Recurrent: same site and type. The severity of subsequent injuries (days missed) was compared with their related index injury. The proportions of early (< 2 months), late (2-12 months) and delayed (>12 months) subsequent injuries were compared across injury classifications and diagnosis groupings. The majority of subsequent injuries (70%) were classified as new injuries, with 14% local and 16% recurrent. A large proportion of recurrent subsequent injuries (42%) occurred within two months of return-to-play. Subsequent injuries were not more severe than their corresponding index injury (effect sizes < 0.20). Specific local and recurrent subsequent injury diagnoses with the highest risk of occurring within two months of return-to-play were: ‘neck muscle strain’, ‘ankle joint capsule sprain', and ‘cervical nerve root’ injuries. These findings may be used to drive targeted secondary prevention efforts, such as reconsideration of return-to-play protocols for neck muscle strain injuries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-798
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number10
Early online date31 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


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