A Retrospective Review Over 1999 to 2007 of Head, Shoulder and Knee Soft Tissue and Fracture Dislocation Injuries and Associated Costs for Rugby League in New Zealand
King, D; Hume, PA; Gianotti, S; Clark, T
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King et al. reported that of 5 941 moderate to serious claims resulting in medical treatment for rugby league injuries, the knee, shoulder, and head and neck body sites and soft tissue and fracture-dislocation injuries were most frequent and costly in the New Zealand national no-fault injury compensation corporation database during 1999 to 2007. However, additional analyses of knee, shoulder and head and neck body sites by soft tissue and fracture-dislocation injury types was required to enable a greater understanding of the nature of injuries most likely to be seen by sports medical personnel dealing with rugby league players. From 1999 to 2007 the injury claims and costs for head and neck soft tissue, fracture-dislocations, shoulders soft tissue significantly increased. Knee soft tissue injury claims and costs significantly decreased from 1999 to 2007. There was no significant difference in knee fracture-dislocation injury claims but there was a significant increase in knee fracture-dislocation injury costs from 1999 to 2007. Changes in the nature of injuries may be related to changes in defensive techniques employed in rugby league during this time. Sports medical personnel dealing with rugby league players should focus their injury prevention strategies on reducing musculoskeletal injuries to the head and shoulder. There should be a focus on increasing awareness of correct tackling technique, head injury awareness and management of suspected cervical spine injuries.