To investigate the incidence of acute injuries and soccer-related chronic pain from long-term training and during matches in adolescent players using natural grass turfs (NT) and artificial turfs (AT).
Case-controlled prospective study.
Institutional-level Fédération Internationale de Football Association Medical Centre of Excellence.
Youth soccer players (12-17 years of age) from 6 teams, with a predominant tendency to train on either NT or AT, were included. Of 332 players enrolled in this study, 301 remained to completion.
Medically diagnosed acute injuries and chronic pain were recorded daily by team health care staff throughout 2005, and reports were provided monthly to the authors.
Noninvasive prospective study.
Age and turf type.
Acute injuries per 1000 player hours on each surface and chronic complaints per 1000 player hours were evaluated according to frequency of surface used ≥80% of the time. Incidence rate ratio (IRR) of acute injuries and chronic complaints during play on NT and AT was calculated.
There was no significant difference in the incidence of acute injuries between the 2 surfaces during training and competition. However, the AT group showed a significantly higher incidence of low back pain during training (IRR, 1.62; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-2.48). Early adolescence and prolonged training hours were factors associated with an increased incidence of chronic pain in the AT group.
Adolescent players routinely training on AT for prolonged periods should be carefully monitored, even on AT conforming to new standards.
From the *Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Japan; †FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence at Kawasaki, Kawasaki, Japan; ‡Department of Sports Medicine, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Japan; §Orthopaedic Surgery, Kawasaki Steel Company Hospital, Chiba, Japan; and ¶Orthopaedic Surgery, Nishi-Omiya Hospital, Saitama, Japan.
Submitted for publication May 18, 2009; accepted October 19, 2009.
We received no research funding from any other source.
The authors state that they have no financial interest in the products mentioned within this article.
Reprints: Haruhito Aoki, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, 2-16-1, Sugao, Miyamae-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 216-8511, Japan (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).