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E-35 Free Communication/Poster - Injury Friday, June 1, 2018, 7: 30 AM - 12: 30 PM Room: CC-Hall B

Incidence And Severity Of Collegiate Men’s Soccer Lower Leg Injuries On Artificial Versus Natural Grass

2351 Board #187 June 1 9

30 AM - 11

00 AM

Blessing, Shianne M.; Meyers, Michael C. FACSM; Robinson, Shad K.

Author Information
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2018 - Volume 50 - Issue 5S - p 579
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000536998.64510.da
  • Free

Recently, artificial turf has been developed to duplicate the playing characteristics of natural grass. No long-term studies have compared match-related, collegiate men’s soccer lower leg trauma between the two surfaces.

PURPOSE: To quantify incidence, mechanisms, and severity of match-related lower leg collegiate men’s soccer injuries on artificial turf versus natural grass.

METHODS: 11 universities were evaluated over 6 seasons for injury incidence rate (IIR) across injury severity, lower leg joint/muscle, elective imaging/surgery, type of tissue injured, injury mechanism/situation, player position, injury category, field conditions, cleat design, and turf age.

RESULTS: Overall, 380 games (49.7%) were played on artificial turf versus 385 games (50.3%) played on natural grass. A total of 256 injuries were documented, with 109 occurring on artificial turf and 147 on natural grass. MANOVAs per 10 games indicated a significant playing surface effect by lower leg trauma-joint/muscle (F11,256 = 5.668; P < .0001/F4,256 = 17.931; P < .001), elective imaging/surgery (F3,256 = 18.129; P < .0001), type of tissue injured (F5,256 = 12.413; P < .0001), injury mechanism/situation (F16,256 = 2.305; P < .001/F8,256 = 5.592; P < .0001), injury category (F6,256 = 40.251; P < .0001), and cleat design (F3,256 = 2.258; P < .047), but none observed by severity injury, player position, and field conditions. Significantly lower IIRs (P = .05-.0001) across distal tibiofibular joint, 0.3 (95% CI, 0.2-0.5) vs 0.5 (95% CI, 0.3-0.8); lower leg muscles combined, 1.4 (95% CI, 1.1-1.8) vs 2.2 (95% CI, 1.8-2.6); total medical procedures combined, 0.8 (95% CI, 0.6-1.1) vs 1.2 (95% CI, 0.9-1.6); ligament sprains, 1.4 (95% CI, 1.1-1.8) vs 1.5 (95% CI, 1.2-1.9); muscle-tendon strain/spasm/tears, 0.6 (95% CI, 0.4-0.9) vs 0.3 (95% CI, 0.2-0.5); tackled from the side/behind, 0.7 (95% CI, 0.5-1.0) vs 1.2 (95% CI, 0.9-1.5); player- turf impacts, 0.2 (95% CI, 0.1-0.3) vs 0.4 (95% CI, 0.2-0.6); adverse weather conditions combined, 0.5 (95% CI, 0.3-0.8) vs 1.3 (95% CI, 1.0-1.7) between artificial turf and natural grass, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Although similarities exist between both surfaces during competitive play, artificial turf is in many cases safer than natural grass when comparing this specific artificial surface and level of play.

© 2018 American College of Sports Medicine