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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 January;59(1):110-5

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07901-4


language: English

Fractures in German elite male soccer players

Erik SCHIFFNER 1, David LATZ 1, Jan P. GRASSMANN 1, Alberto SCHEK 2, Armin SCHOLZ 1, Joachim WINDOLF 1, Pascal JUNGBLUTH 1, Johannes SCHNEPPENDAHL 1

1 Department of Trauma and Hand Surgery, Heinrich Heine University Hospital Duesseldorf, Duesseldorf, Germany; 2 Department of Trauma, Hand, and Orthopedic Surgery, Vivantes Urban Hospital, Berlin, Germany

BACKGROUND: Aim of this retrospective cohort study was to identify fracture epidemiology and off times after different types of fractures in German male elite soccer players from the first division Bundesliga based on information from the public media.
METHODS: Exposure and fracture data over 7.5 consecutive seasons (2009/10 until the first half of 2016/17) were collected from two media-based register (transfermarkt.de® and kicker.de®).
RESULTS: Overall, 357 fractures from 290 different players were recorded with an incidence of 0.19/1000 hours of exposure (95% CI: 0.14-0.24). Most fractures in German elite soccer players involved the lower extremities (35.3%), the head/face (30.3%) and the upper extremities (24.9%). The median off time after a fracture in German elite male professional soccer in 7.5 Season was 51.1 days (range 0-144). The number of fractures per 100 players per season decreased between 2009 and 2016. There was no significant difference in overall fracture incidence when comparing players at different position (P=0.11). Goalkeepers have a significantly (P<0.02) higher likelihood of suffering hand and finger fractures and they are significantly (P<0.03) less prone of suffering foot fractures, cranial and maxillofacial fractures (P<0.04). compared to outfield players.
CONCLUSIONS: This study can confirm that male professional soccer teams experience 1-2 fractures per season in German elite soccer. The incidence of fractures in elite German soccer players decreased between 2009 and 2016. The most fractures occur in the lower extremities and there is no difference in overall fracture risk for players at different playing positions. The information from our study might be of a great importance to medical practitioners, soccer coaches and soccer manager.

KEY WORDS: Bone fractures - Soccer - Athletic injuries - Sports medicine

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