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7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Annual Assembly of the German and the Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

26.-29.10.2011, Salzburg, Austria

Prevention of lower limb injuries in the military

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Kirill Micallef-Stafrace - Institute for Physical Education and Sport, University of Malta, Msida, Malta
  • Tom Loney - Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Mouza Al Shehhi - Health and Sports Medicine Centre, United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
  • James Carter - Optimal Performance Limited, Bristol, United Kingdom

7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Salzburg, 26.-29.10.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2011. Doc11esm012

doi: 10.3205/11esm012, urn:nbn:de:0183-11esm0124

Published: October 24, 2011

© 2011 Micallef-Stafrace et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: Lower limb injuries represent a significant health issue within all military forces in both peacetime and combat situations. The aim of this paper is to review evidence based injury prevention strategies and how effective and realistic their implementation could be.

Material/Methods: Injury prevention recommendations can take the generalized form that encompass a whole military or alternatively relate to specific scenarios. The first step is an appropriate audit of not only the type and severity of an injury but also the mechanism and circumstances in which the injury occurred. This was the procedure adapted in a regional military sports medicine clinic. Data collected over a year was categorised utilizing the OSICS 10.1 [1].

Results: A high incidence of lower limb injuries was noted with a prevalence of ankle and knee injuries. Most occurred during physical training and sporting activity but an unexpected significant proportion also occurred due to motor vehicle accidents. Review of the current scientific evidence on the prevention of injuries during military training led to a number of general recommendations that could be implemented in any military base, but the audit findings also allowed a more specific approach. Hence, changes advised ranged from physical training structure, body weight management and hydration strategies to road safety education.

Conclusion: Most lower limb injuries are preventable. Recognising this and implementing the appropriate preventative strategies, some of them quite simple to undertake, can lead to a remarkable reduction in injury incidence.


Rae K, Orchard J. The Orchard Sports Injury Classification System (OSICS) version 10. Clin J Sport Med. 2007;17(3):201-4.