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Study finds no difference in player injury rates on artificial turf surfaces

Study finds no difference in player injury rates on artificial turf surfaces
March 30, 2014

New research has found no greater injury of risk for footballers using artificial turf playing surfaces.

The study, Safety of Third Generation Artificial Turf in Male Elite Professional Soccer Players, was presented by a group of Italian researchers (Dr Alessandro Ciompi, Riccardo Maria Lanzetti, Domenico Lupariello, Dr Angelo De Carli and Dr Andrea Ferretti) at this month’s 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

Reviewing injuries involving players in Serie A, the top Italian football league, during the 2011/12 season, the study found no greater injury risk for athletes playing on artificial turf surfaces.

The use of artificial playing surfaces at sport venues has increased significantly in recent years, primarily due to the advantages of artificial turf over natural grass: longer playing hours, lower maintenance costs and greater resilience to harsh weather conditions.

However, despite these advantages, many elite professional soccer teams are reluctant to install artificial turf because of a perception that injuries occur more often on these types of surfaces.

The study recorded a total of 2,580 hours of play (1,270 hours on artificial turf and 1,310 on grass). For every 1,000 hours of play there were 23 injuries recorded on artificial surfaces and 20 on grass, with muscle strains being the most common injury (13 on artificial turf, 14 on grass).

The authors of the study do not consider the injury rates between the two surfaces to be statistically significant, as only three injuries per 1,000 hours of play were attributable to artificial surfaces.

The study authors concluded that there are no major differences between the nature and causes of injuries sustained on artificial turf and those that occur on natural grass surfaces.

Founded in the 1933 and with over 36,000 members, the AAOS group provides education and practice management services for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals. 

Click here to view the presentation abstract. 

The latest developments in artificial turf in Australia will be presented at the second National Synthetic Surfaces Conference & Expo (NSSCE) will be held on 3rd and 4th June 2014 at Rosehill Gardens, Sydney. Click here for details.

10th December 2013 - NATIONAL SYNTHETIC SURFACES CONFERENCE & EXPO TO RETURN IN JUNE 2014

28th November 2013 - STUDY SHOWS THAT CHILDREN CONCUSSED WHILE PLAYING SPORT DON’T GET PROPER TREATMENT

14th June 2013 - TURF WAR OVER SURFACES AT 2015 FIFA WOMEN'S WORLD CUP

25th January 2012 - SYNTHETIC SURFACES ADVISOR HIGHLIGHTS NEW RESEARCH ON ARTIFICIAL TURF SAFETY

23rd January 2012 - ARTIFICIAL TURF BEAT UP FAILS TO HIGHLIGHT ALTERNATIVES


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