INJURIES IN ELITE AUSTRALIAN FEMALE CRICKETERS

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Abstract

Background

Cricket Australia has a well-established injury surveillance program for its elite male players and has published regular reports. Whilst injury data has been collected for the elite female players, it has not been published to date.

Objective

To establish injury profiles sustained by elite female players by utilising the data collected through the Cricket Australia's Athlete Management System.

Design

Cohort study, 2014–16 seasons.

Setting

International and national cricket.

Participants

Elite women.

Main Outcome Measurements

Incidence, nature and anatomical location and mechanism of injuries.

Results

The mean age of the 121 players was 24.2 years (SD ±4.5). 113 players sustained 600 injuries; 77.7% (n=94) sustained ≥1 injury. 477 injuries (79.5%) were acute and 73.2% (n=439) were new. Injury match incidence was 424.7 injuries/10,000 hours for all injuries, and 79.3 injuries/10,000 hours for time-loss. Thigh (n=84, 14.0%), wrist (n=77, 12.8%), knee (n=68, 11.3%), shoulder (n=66, 11.0%) and lumbar spine (n=63, 10.5%) were the most frequently injured regions. There were 31.8% (n=191) muscle injuries; 16.0% (n=96) joint sprains. Most injuries occurred via an insidious onset (28.7%, n=172), with running 15.3% (n=92) the most common mechanism. There were 121 (20.2%) time-loss injuries (94 new and 27 recurrent) resulting total of 3638 days (average 30 days, SD ±47.38) away from the sport. Wrist/hand (n=20, 19.80%) and lumbar spine (n=20, 16.5) were the most common time-loss injuries. Six players sustained lumbar-spine stress fractures that resulted in the most days missed due to injury (average 111 days/injury).

Conclusions

Similarities are evident between male and female cricket injury profiles with the thigh being the most injured location. This is the first study to demonstrate that elite female cricket players also develop lumbar spine stress fractures, similar to their male counterparts. More research is required to determine the mechanisms for injuries in female players.

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