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INTRODUCTION: Load carriage, physical training and sports activities causes 90% of musculoskeletal injuries among soldiers. Musculoskeletal injuries (MSI) are commonly prevalent in infantry soldiers population. Epidemiologic data on soldiers exercise related MSI in Latvia is not available. The purpose of this study was to describe the physical exercise related MSI epidemiology of Latvian infantry soldiers in 2017.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Self-reported data from active duty infantry soldiers was collected using survey; analysis of electronic outpatient medical record data was made during one year period (2017). Injuries were classified according to Barrel injury matrix body regions. Injuries were described using relative frequency. Injury incidence was calculated as the number of injured soldiers per 100 subjects per year. Riga Stradinš university Ethics committee approval (Nr.40/26.10.2017) for this research was admitted.
RESULTS: Self-reported exercise related injury data was obtained from 144 infantry soldiers, 94.4 % men (N=136) and N=8 women; average age 31.1 years (SD=7.4) average service time 8.4 years (SD=6.8). During medical record analysis MSI cases N=419 that appeared during physical training were identified. The frequency of MSI found from medical records was 27.9 injuries per 100 soldiers per year for total injuries, which is almost two times higher comparing to self-reported data, where MSI rate is 51.7 per 100 soldiers. Most common locations for injuries found in medical records: the lower leg/ankle (such as ankle sprains, tibial stress fractures) with incidence 5.7 per 100 soldiers; non-contact knee ligament injuries – 4.3 per 100 soldiers and wrist/hand/fingers with incidence 5.6 per 100 soldiers per year. More than half of identified injuries among men (55%) and women (54%) are classified as nonduty exercise related injuries that appeared during leisure (also sports) activities.
DISCUSSION: the objective of this research was to describe the physical exercise related MSI epidemiology of Latvian infantry soldiers. Self-reported data and medical record analysis initially identified specific most common MSI anatomic locations. Overall, a majority of musculoskeletal injuries occurred during nonduty sports activity and are preventable in nature. Sports trauma prevention strategies should appear on physical training that involves running and landing.
CONCLUSIONS: Most common injuries identified in Latvian infantry soldier population are lower leg, ankle and noncontact knee injuries, and can be classified as preventable.

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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