One-third of NFL players with Achilles tendon injuries sidelined

Jan 12, 2010

Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC (January 12, 2010) More than a third of National Football League (NFL) players who sustained an Achilles tendon injury were never able to return to professional play according to research in the current issue of Foot & Ankle Specialist. The injured players who did return to active play averaged a 50% reduction in their power ratings.

The aim of the study was to document the epidemiology of Achilles tendon ruptures in the NFL and to quantify the impact of these injuries on player performance. Previous studies have looked at the occurrence of Achilles tendon ruptures in elite athletes in general, but very little was known about how often that type of injury occurred specifically in the NFL or how it affected the athlete's future ability to play.

Researchers looked at publicly available NFL data including websites that summarized games, statistics and injuries, to identify players who sustained complete Achilles tendon rupture. Also noted were such variables as the player's position, age, and number of years in the league prior to the injury. In addition, yearly performance statistics were collected for the players for the years before and after the injuries.

The study found that Achilles tendon ruptures can be career-altering injuries. Nearly 36% of players who sustained this injury never returned to play in the NFL and the ones who were able to return were never able to return to their pre-injury levels of play.

"This article provides a novel approach to shed light on valuable epidemiologic data for ruptures among and the functional outcome of the injury," write authors Selene G. Parekh, Walter H. Wray, III, Olubusola Brimmo, Brian J. Sennett and Keith L. Wapner. "Future studies with the cooperation of the NFL and their official database are needed to fully evaluate the impact of Achilles injuries in this at-risk population."

Explore further: Study recommends inmate immunity test

More information: The article "Epidemiology and Outcomes of Achilles Tendon Ruptures in the National Football League" published in the December 2009 issue is available free for a limited time at fas.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/2/6/283

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Surgery may not be necessary for Achilles tendon rupture

May 14, 2009

The two ends of a ruptured Achilles tendon are often stitched together before the leg is put in plaster, in order to reduce the risk of the tendon rupturing again. However, Katarina Nilsson Helander, MD, PhD at the Sahlgrenska ...

Chronic ankle pain may be more than just a sprain

May 01, 2009

Ankle sprains are a common injury after a fall, sudden twist or blow to the ankle joint. Approximately 40 percent of those who suffer an ankle sprain will experience chronic ankle pain, even after being treated ...

Study asks how safe is high school football?

Aug 15, 2007

Football, one of the most popular sports in the United States, is also the leading cause of sports-related injuries. During the 2005-06 season, high school football players sustained more than half a million ...

Recommended for you

Study recommends inmate immunity test

7 hours ago

(AP)—Federal experts are recommending that California test inmates for immunity to a sometimes fatal soil-borne fungus before incarcerating them at two Central Valley state prisons where the disease has killed nearly three ...

Down syndrome teens need support, health assessed

14 hours ago

Young adults with Down syndrome experience a range of physical and mental health conditions over and above those commonly reported in children with the condition—and these health problems may significantly ...

Time out for exercise

14 hours ago

University of Queensland researcher has found that restructuring our daily routine to include exercise can have unexpected effects on health.

User comments : 0