More than 80 percent of soccer players return to sport after fractures

June 11, 2012

Topic: Orthopaedics

More than 80 percent of soccer players recover from fractures well enough to return to the sport.

Fractures are among the most serious orthopaedics issues in soccer. However, with the right treatment, the vast majority of athletes can return to the sport, according to new research published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Almost 570,000 individuals in the U.S. injured themselves playing soccer in 2009, as reported by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Sprains and strains are the most common mishaps.

One team of researchers from Scotland decided to assess the impact of fractures in soccer and how well athletes recovered. They collected data on 312 fractures in 303 athletes. Records showed that it took about 22 to 26 weeks to return to soccer after a lower limb injury, and approximately eight to nine weeks following an upper limb injury.

About 83 percent of athletes eventually started playing soccer again at the same level or higher as compared to before a fracture. Although 39 percent had ongoing problems, only 8 percent of these patients experienced a reduced ability to play because of their symptoms.

Fractures that were the most likely to keep an individual from returning to this sport occurred in the clavicle, distal radius and tibial diaphysis.

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