Study aim: To assess the prevalence and anatomical sites of injuries in professional soccer players in one game season.
Material and methods: A cohort of 510 professional male soccer players consisting of 48 goalkeepers, 194 defence players, 189 mid-field players and 79 forward players of the 1st and 2nd Turkish Professional Soccer Leagues in 2005-2006 season were requested to submit questionnaire reports on all injuries they experienced.
Results: About 60% of all injuries pertained to lower extremities, another 25% to upper extremities, the most frequent being skin abrasions (about 24%). The percentage of players who sustained injuries was lowest among mid-field players (about 47%) compared with other categories (nearly 70%) but the average number of injuries per player was highest among them (8.1 vs. about 4.5). The risk of sustaining injury when playing a match amounted to 9.8% for mid-field players; that was significantly (p<0.01) lower (11.7 - 13.0%) than for other categories of players.
Conclusions: Football injuries are the major factor affecting players' performance. Thus, appropriate strategies, aimed at reducing injuries, ought to be implemented.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.