Background: Injuries are a common occurrence in athletics. Field surface type has been found to have a major impact on lower extremity injuries.
Objective: To answer the following questions: Is there a difference in the rate of lower extremity sprains on natural grass compared to third-generation artificial turf? Is there a difference in the rate of lower extremity sprains on third-generation artificial turf compared to natural grass by team (football/women’s soccer)? Is there a difference in the rate of lower extremity sprains on third-generation artificial turf or natural grass by body part (knee/ankle)? Is there a difference in the rate of lower extremity sprains on third-generation artificial turf or natural grass by competition setting (games/practice)?
Methods: Data was compiled on an Excel worksheet of all injuries that have occurred from 2011-2014. Correlational analyses were performed to determine relationships between variables (team: football and women’s soccer; body part: knee and ankle; type of activity: practice and game; and field surface type: grass and turf) as well as logistic regression to determine if differences were seen in rate of injuries on the previously described variables. These findings were then compared to other literature using Medline, CINAHL Plus, and Cochrane Library.
Results: There was a significant difference between teams (football vs. women’s soccer) on different field surface types (p=0.022). Football accounted for 11 injuries on artificial turf, women’s soccer accounted for 6 injuries on grass. There was a significant difference between body part (knee vs. ankle) on different field surface types (p=0.039). There were a total of 9 injuries that occurred on artificial turf, and 7 ankle injuries on grass. There was no difference between the rate of injuries in competition between the given field playing surfaces (p=0.085).
Conclusion: This data shows that there is a higher occurrence of sprains for Football on artificial turf. Nevertheless, there is a higher occurrence of injuries for Women’s Soccer on natural grass. There is a higher occurrence of knee sprains on natural grass; however, there is a higher occurrence of ankle sprains on artificial turf. These instances of injury may be due to, biomechanics or shoe-surface interactions, these variables were not included in this research study and should be examined further. Preventative rehabilitation techniques may be advised to reduce these instances of lower extremity sprains.
Pearce, Kayla M.
"A review: The difference in lower extremity injury rates when played on natural grass compared to third-generation artificial turf,"
Skyline - The Big Sky Undergraduate Journal: Vol. 3
, Article 5.
Available at: http://skyline.bigskyconf.com/journal/vol3/iss1/5