January 2014

In college football, most turf toe cases occur in games, on artificial surfaces

In the moment: Sports medicine

By Jordana Bieze Foster

A Stanford University study suggests that turf toe injury rates in collegiate football players are lower than expected, possibly as a result of improvements in synthetic turf technology.

Analyzing data from the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Injury Surveillance System for five football seasons (2004-2005 to 2008-2009), the researchers found the overall incidence of turf toe injury was .062 per 1000 athlete-exposures. Epidemiological studies of turf toe in football are scarce, but reported injury rates in small-scale studies of professional football have ranged from 30% to 45% of players (see “Managing turf toe in football players,” November 2009, page 25).

In the Stanford study, turf toe injury was nearly 14 times more likely to occur during a game than during practice. Injury incidence was also significantly more likely to occur on third-generation artificial surfaces than on natural grass. Athletes at the quarterback and running back positions were most likely to suffer a turf toe injury. Time lost as a result of injury averaged 10.1 days. The findings were epublished in December by Foot & Ankle International.

Source:

George E, Harris AH, Dragoo JL, Hunt KJ. Incidence and risk factors for turf toe injuries in intercollegiate football: Data from the National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance System. Foot Ankle Int 2013 Dec 11. [Epub ahead of print.]

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