Journal Information
Vol. 49. Issue 181.
Pages 11-19 (January - March 2014)
Vol. 49. Issue 181.
Pages 11-19 (January - March 2014)
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Epidemiology of injuries in elite handball: Retrospective study in professional and academy handball team
Mauricio Mónacoa,
Corresponding author

Autor para correspondencia.
, Mauricio Mónacob, Mauricio Mónacoc, José A. Gutiérrez Rincónc, José A. Gutiérrez Rincónd, J. Bruno Montoro Ronsanoe, Lluis Tilf, Lluis Tilg, Franchek Drobnich, Franchek Drobnici, Joan Nardi Vilardagaj, Joan Nardi Vilardagae, Jordi Puigdellivol Grifellk, Jordi Puigdellivol Grifellc, Carles Pedret Carballidol, Gil Rodasc
a Área Básica de Salud, El Vendrell. Xarxa Sanitaria i Social de Santa Tecla, Tarragona, España
b Estudiante de Doctorando en el Departamento de Cirugía, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (Hospital Vall d'Hebron), Barcelona, España
c Servicios Médicos, Futbol Club Barcelona, Barcelona, España
d Consell Català de l'Esport, Barcelona, España
e Farmacéutico Adjunto, Servicio de Farmacia, Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, España
f Sports Medicine Physician, FC Barcelona, Olympic Training Center, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
g GIRSANE CAR Sant Cugat-Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa, Terrassa, Barcelona, España
h Departament de Fisiologia de l'Esport, Centre d'Alt Rendiment, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Espanya
i Departamento de Fisiología del Deporte del Centro de Alto Rendimiento. Sant Cugat del Vallés. Barcelona. España. Servicios Médicos del FC Barcelona. Barcelona. España.
j Departamento de Cirugía, Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, España
k CIMETIR (Centre Integral de Medicina Esportiva, Traumatologia i Rehabilitació), Manresa, Barcelona, España
l Escola Professional d'Educació Física i Medicina de l'Esport, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, España
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To evaluate the injury incidence and pattern of injuries in elite handball by different ages.


A retrospective, cross sectional study, was conducted over 5 seasons (2007-2012), analyzing a total of 496 players, 29 teams (from different categories separated by age and performance level) of the same club in southern Europe. The same medical team has assessed the injuries and exposure time by teams. Epidemiological criteria according to UEFA and consensus OSICS-10 diagnostic coding were followed.


A total of 57 injuries were recorded during 117,723 hours of total exposure. There was a mean team injury incidence of 4.9 injuries/1000 hours of total exposure. For the Senior A (Professional Senior) it was was 4.3 (SD 1.8), Senior B (Amateur 18-28 years) 3.4 (SD 1.6), Youth (U-18 year) 5.6 (SD 1.4), Cadete A (U-16 year) 5.5 (SD 2.5), Cadete B (U-15 year) 5.7 (SD 3.2) and Infantil (U-14 year) 4.9 (SD 1.9). There were no statistically significant differences between categories, although seniors teams had more hours of exposure compared to other teams (P < .001)

The most frequently affected sites were ankle (18.1%), knee (15.3%), thigh (12.9%) and lumbar region (10.6%). The most common type of injury to all teams was the sprain (27.3%) and non-traumatic muscle injury (20.5%). Muscle injuries were more common at Senior A (Professional) level, but in lower level teams it was the sprain, although there is no significant differences between them.

Conclusion The pattern and incidence of injury in elite handball is uniform between teams from different categories at the same club; with a few differences between each other that you should take this into account to optimize a preventions programs in each category of elite handball training.

Sports injuries
Sports teams
Apunts Sports Medicine
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