What is the Prevalence of Lower Limb MSK Injuries in Brazilian Army Soldiers?

Research Paper Title

Prevalence of musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries and a proposal for neuromuscular training to prevent lower limb injuries in Brazilian Army soldiers: an observational study.

Background

The activities carried out by soldiers in the army involve great physical demands and require intense training to perform combat-specific tasks. MSK injury is a potential threat to the health and physical integrity of the soldier. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of lower limb MSK injuries among soldiers and to propose a training protocol to prevent the most frequent injuries.

Methods

This observational (cross-sectional) study recruited a sample of 103 soldiers who required medical attention, from a total 202 new battalion soldiers. The medical records (paper and online) had a form of running text. All data collected were recorded by the registered physicians of the battalion medical post. The records were analysed by the following variables: medical diagnosis, injury site, mechanism, type of treatment, time loss, existence of previous injury, and recurring injury.

Results

A total of 112 MSK injuries were diagnosed in 71 soldiers, and other types of diseases/injuries were diagnosed in the other soldiers. Joint pain accounted for 55.4% of the diagnoses. The knee was the most affected site, while trauma and overload were the most common mechanisms of injury. Drug treatment was used most frequently, accounting for 58% of the cases. The majority of the sample obtained a temporary leave of absence for 1 to 6 days or not at all. Previous injuries and recurrence were not presented as risk factors for injury. With the data received, a protocol for the prevention of injuries to the lower limbs was proposed.

Conclusions

This study indicated that the most frequent site of injury is the knee, and joint pain is the most common diagnosis. These results may support the necessity to develop a neuromuscular training protocol to prevent lower limb injuries, which we suggest to be applied in future studies.

Reference

de Andrade Gomes, M.Z. & Pinfildi, C.E. (2018) Prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries and a proposal for neuromuscular training to prevent lower limb injuries in Brazilian Army soldiers: an observational study. Military Medical Research. 5(1):23. doi: 10.1186/s40779-018-0172-7.

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