The use of artificial turf on playing fields has increased in popularity. Advances in technology have allowed for the development of turf that closely mimics the properties of natural grass. Overall injury incidence does not differ between the two surfaces, but unique injury patterns are apparent between the two surfaces. Differences in shoe-surface interface, in-shoe foot loading patterns, and impact attenuation may provide insight into the different injury patterns. Player perceptions of artificial turf vary and may be related to different physiological demands between the two surfaces. Artificial turf has been implicated in skin infections, but concerns about other health consequences related to the synthetic materials have not been proven yet. Understanding the differences between artificial turf and natural grass will help physicians, athletic trainers, and coaches better care for and train their athletes.
Sports Medicine Fellowship, Crozer-Keystone Health System, Springfield, PA
Address for correspondence: Justin M. Wright, M.D., Sports Medicine Fellowship, Crozer-Keystone Health System, 196 W. Sproul Rd., Suite 110, Springfield, PA 19064 (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).