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Muscle, Ligaments and Tendons Journal

The influence of playing surface on injury risk in italian elite rugby players

Original Article, 180 - 185
doi: 10.11138/mltj/2017.7.1.180
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Abstract
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Background: There is a growing interest in the use of artificial turf surfaces in rugby. In particular, artificial surfaces may be an useful means of increasing participation in the sport by allowing greater usage of a given pitch, especially in regions where natural turf pitches are difficult to maintain.
Methods: The incidence of site, nature, cause, and severity of training and match injuries was prospectively recorded in two professional teams (one equipped with World Rugby certified third generation artificial turf and the other with natural grass over the 2014-2015 season).
Results: A total of 23,840 minutes of exposure was displayed for the whole sample, 1,440 minutes during matches and 22,400 during training sessions.
We recorded 37 (48%) traumatic injuries and 39 (52%) overuse injuries. For traumatic injuries, we did not find significant differences in the overall risk injury between grass and artificial turf considering match exposure and training sessions.
For overuse injuries, there were significant differences in the overall risk injury between grass and artificial turf considering match exposure (p=0.03) and training sessions (p=0.02).
Conclusion: In elite Italian rugby players, artificial turf seems to be safe in regards to traumatic injury while it seems to be a risk factor for overuse injuries.
Level of evidence: II.

Vol. 7 (No. 3) 2017 July/September

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