The Most Common Football Injuries

By Michelle Duclos, ATC

The Most Common Football Injuries 

Learn more in this article about the most common football injuries.  Football is a contact sport and therefore injuries are common.  Here is a list of the most common injuries in Football.

There are many other injuries a football player can experience but these are some of the more common ones that we will cover in this article.

Football Knee Injuries

Injuries to the knee can include tearing the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) or the PCL (posterior cruciate ligament). These ligaments stabilize the knee and prevent the lower leg’s excessive forward and backward translation movement on the thigh bone. The MCL (medial collateral ligament) and the LCL (lateral collateral ligament) can also be compromised. Furthermore, these ligaments give stability with side-to-side forces to the knee. A tear of any of these ligaments can lead to significant pain and instability in the knee. Also, they often require surgery to repair the ligament. The rehabilitation process is lengthy after a ligament repair in the knee.

image of football player on field

Football Injuries in athletes

Football Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are a common injury in football. Typically, this happens with a quick direction change, and the ankle commonly rolls inward. A sprain damages the ligaments that stabilize the ankle and can be treated with physical therapy.

To learn more about ankle sprains, go to ankle sprain.

Meniscus Tears

Meniscus tears are also common injuries in football. A meniscus is a piece of cartilage that lies between the thigh bone and the lower leg. Also, it helps to stabilize and cushion the knee joints. It can become torn with trauma. Also, the meniscus does not typically heal well because it has a minimal blood supply. When trying to treat this, rehabilitation can help. However, sometimes surgery will help to remove the torn part. In some circumstances, the meniscus can be repaired, but it depends on the type of tear.

If you want to learn more about ACL injuries, watch this video treating acl injuries

Football Muscle Strains

When a muscle or tendon is stretched beyond its normal length, a strain occurs. This can happen with a quick movement or with contact injury. These muscle strains are common in the hamstrings, hip flexors, quads, and calf muscles.

Even in Pro Football

Football is one of the most popular sports in the United States. The NFL is one of the most watched sports events in the United States. While some people believe that all injuries occur due to lack of experience, this is not true in the sport of football. Out of all the professional contact sports the most injuries occur in the NFL. It is a high-impact and contact sport that can lead to various football injuries. Some of the most common football injuries can occur in many parts of the body.

Football Wrist and Hand Fractures

 Football injuries treated at JOI Rehab

Return to Sports with ActivArmor

Wrist and hand fractures can occur with football. Fractures typically require immobilization with casting.  Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute now offers ActivArmor casting.  This allows an athlete to continue to play in some situations and allows the removal of the cast as needed. ActivArmor is made from a solid waterproof material. This technology is revolutionizing the treatment of wrist and hand fractures as well as ankle and foot fractures.

To learn more about ActivArmor, go to activarmor.

Football Injury to the Head

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can occur with an impact on the head.  Recent research on concussions suggests that they are more common in football than previously thought. A concussion can vary in severity. Symptoms may include:

  • Dizziness.
  • Amnesia.
  • Nausea.
  • Headache.
  • Fogginess.

Concussions can be a severe medical condition and require immediate medical attention. An athlete must completely be recovered from a concussion before returning to contact sport due to the high risk of severe medical complications from a second injury. If you as an athlete suffer multiple concussions you could potentially develop CTE or Chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Ultimately CTE can result in you having dementia in your later years. The case of Aaron Hernandez became nationally known as an extreme case of CTE due to his impaired ability to make sound judgement. While CTE is not an excuse for his actions ethically it could be partially responsible for his poor decision making skills and memory problems which are both common symptoms of CTE.

The NFL has a specific protocol to assess and treat concussions and has a spotter in the press box to observe players for abnormal movements, indicating a concussion. JOI and its sports medicine partners in the Northeast Florida community perform concussion baseline testing on athletes to be prepared in the instance of a concussion for more accurate and appropriate assessment and treatment.  Dr. Michael Yorio has a concussion program at the JOI San Marco clinic.

How Can Football Injuries be Prevented?

image of man doing hamstring stretch on field

stretching before a game helps prevent injuries

7 Tips to Help Prevent Football Injuries Include:

  1. Warm-up before practices and games. 
  2. Stretch each and every day
  3. Strengthen your body
  4. Play by the rules. Use the correct form for tackles
  5. Examine the playing field for any holes or uneven ground.
  6. Wear the appropriate equipment, especially your helmet.
  7. Try to avoid head-on collisions with other players.

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JOI Rehab

Whether you are suffering from back issues, joint pain, or injuries resulting from any activity, JOI has 12 physical therapy clinics conveniently located in Jacksonville and Northeast FL that specialize in orthopedic rehab.

Finally, if you are interested in scheduling an appointment at JOI Rehab for physical therapy, call (904) 858-7045.

Please call 904-JOI-2000, schedule online by clicking book an appointment.

By: Michelle Duclos, ATC

JOI physicians can treat a compound ankle fracture.

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