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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 76-81

The Epidemiology, Management, and Outcome of Field Hockey-related Fractures in a Standard Population

1 Department of Edinburgh Orthopaedic Trauma Unit, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2 Department of Orthopaedic, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, England, United Kingdom
3 Department of Edinburgh Orthopaedic Trauma Unit, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Greg A J. Robertson
5/6 Gladstone Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1LX, Scotland, England
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/atr.atr_56_17

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Background: Field hockey is one of the most popular sports in the world, yet little is known about patient outcome following fracture injuries sustained during this sport. Objectives: The aim of this study is to describe the epidemiology, management, and outcome of field hockey-related fractures in a known UK population at all skill levels. Materials and Methods: All fractures sustained during field hockey from 2007 to 2008 within the adult Lothian population were prospectively recorded and confirmed by an orthopedic surgeon during treatment at the sole adult orthopedic center in the region. Nonresident individuals were not included in the study. Follow-up data were obtained in September 2010 to determine return rates and times to field hockey. Results: Nineteen fractures were recorded over the study period in 19 patients. Seventeen (89%) of the fractures were recorded in the upper limb, with 15 (79%) recorded in hand. Eighteen fractures (85%) in 18 patients (95%) were followed up at a mean interval of 31 months (range: 25-37 months; standard deviation [SD] 2.1 months). The mean time for return to field hockey from injury was 10.8 weeks (range: 3-26 weeks; SD 7.1 weeks). For patients with upper limb injuries, the mean time was 9.2 weeks (range: 3-20 weeks; SD 5.7 weeks), compared to 22 weeks (range: 18-26 weeks; SD 5.7 weeks) for patients with lower limb injuries. Eleven percent of the cohort did not return to field hockey. Seventy-eight percent of the cohort returned to field hockey at the same level or higher. Fifty percent had ongoing related problems, yet only 17% had impaired field hockey ability because of these problems. Fractures with the highest morbidity in not returning to field hockey were as follows: Metacarpal 14% and finger phalanx 13%. Conclusions: The significant majority of field hockey-related fractures are sustained in the upper limb, notably the hand. Around ninety percent of patients sustaining a fracture during field hockey will return to this sport at a similar level. While half of these will have persisting symptoms 2 years postinjury, only one-third of symptomatic patients will have impaired field hockey ability because of this.

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