Prevalence and Burden of Self-Reported Health Problems in Junior Male Elite Ice Hockey Players: A 44-Week Prospective Cohort Study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine. 2021, 49 (12), 3379-3385. 10.1177/03635465211032979
Background: Little is known about the burden of overuse injuries and illnesses in junior elite ice hockey. Purpose: To describe the prevalence and burden of all health problems in junior male elite ice hockey players in Norway during 1 school year. Study Design: Descriptive epidemiological study. Methods: A total of 206 junior male ice hockey players (mean age, 17 years; range, 15-20 years) attending specialized sports academy high schools in Norway reported all health problems, acute injuries, overuse injuries, and illnesses, weekly during the 2018-2019 school year (44 weeks). The players self-reported injuries and illnesses using the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center Questionnaire on Health Problems. Results: Of the players included, 25% (95% CI, 23%-27%) reported at least 1 health problem at any given time, while 16% (95% CI, 14%-17%) experienced health problems with a substantial negative effect on training and performance. Of the total burden of health problems, acute injuries accounted for 44%, overuse injuries 31%, and illnesses 25%. For acute injuries, the greatest burden was caused by injuries to the ankle, knee, and hand, whereas for overuse injuries the most burdensome location was the hip/groin and knee. Conclusion: This study documented that while acute injuries did represent the greatest problem among junior elite ice hockey players, overuse injuries, especially to the knee and hip/groin, also had a substantial effect.