Objectives: To establish patterns of subsequent injury in U18 rugby, to quantify the burden of within season injury recurrence. Design: Secondary analysis of prospective data. Setting: 28 Schools in Ireland. Participants: 825 male rugby players (aged 15–18 years). Main outcome measures: Subsequent injuries were classified as: new, local or recurrent (same site and type as index injury). All recurrent injuries were sub-grouped by body part and diagnosis. Burden was based on frequency, days lost and injury proportion ratios. Results: A total of 426 injuries were eligible for analysis, of which, 121 were subsequent injuries. The majority of subsequent injuries involved a different body part than their index injury. There were n = 23 cases of within season recurrence. 78% of recurrences occurred within 2 months of return to play. Recurrent injuries comprised 5% of all injuries and their cumulative time loss was 1073 days. Recurrent injury to the ankle ligaments, lumbar muscles and concussions carried the greatest burden. Conclusion: The burden of recurrent injury in U18 rugby is lower than in the professional game. However, this population could benefit from targeted secondary prevention efforts including reconsideration of return-to-play protocols for ankle sprain, lumbar muscles and potentially concussion.
- Recurrent injury