Descriptive epidemiology of musculoskeletal injuries in the Army 101st airborne (Air assault) division

Mita T. Lovalekar, John P. Abt, Timothy C. Sell, Takashi Nagai, Karen Keenan, Kim Beals, Scott M. Lephart, Michael D. Wirt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to describe the epidemiology of musculoskeletal injuries among Soldiers of the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division. A total of 451 subjects (age: 27.6 ± 6.2 years, gender: males 395/451 = 87.6%) volunteered. Musculoskeletal injury data were extracted from subjects’ medical charts and injuries that occurred during 1 year were described. Injury frequency, injury anatomic location and sublocation, injury cause, activity when injury occurred, and injury type were described. Injury frequency was 29.5 injuries per 100 subjects per year. Most injures affected the lower extremity (60.2% of injuries) and common anatomic sublocations for injuries were the ankle (17.3%) and knee (15.0%). Frequent causes of injuries were running (13.5%) and direct trauma (9.0%). Physical training was associated with 29.3% of the injuries. A majority of injuries were classified as pain/spasm/ache (29.3%), without further elucidation of pathology. Other frequent injury types were sprain (21.8%) and strain (14.3%). The descriptive epidemiology of musculoskeletal injuries in this population underscores the need to explore the modifiable risk factors of potentially preventable lower extremity injuries associated with physical training and running. There is scope for the development of an optimized and targeted physical training program for injury prevention in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)900-906
Number of pages7
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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