Incidence and variance of foot and ankle injuries in elite college football players.

Lee D. Kaplan, Patrick W. Jost, Nicholas Honkamp, John Norwig, Robin West, James P. Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


We conducted a study on the risk for foot and ankle injuries in college football players on the basis of injury type and player position. In February 2006, we evaluated 320 intercollegiate football players at the National Football League Combine. All pathologic conditions and surgical procedures of the foot and ankle were recorded, and data were analyzed by player position to detect any trends. Seventy-two percent (n = 231) of the players had a history of foot and ankle injuries, with a total of 287 foot and ankle injuries (1.24 injuries/player injured). The most common injuries were lateral ankle sprain (n = 115), syndesmotic sprain (50), metatarsophalangeal dislocation/turf toe (36), and fibular fracture (25). Foot and ankle injuries were most common in kickers/punters (100% incidence), special teams (100%), running backs (83%), wide receivers (83%), and offensive linemen (80%). Lateral ankle sprains, the most common injuries, were treated surgically only 2.6% of the time. Offensive linemen were most likely to have had syndesmotic sprains (32%), and quarterbacks had the highest incidence of fibular fractures (16%). Foot and ankle injuries are common in collegiate football players, affecting 72% of players. Thirteen percent underwent surgical treatment. Trends are seen in the types of injuries for the different player positions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-44
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of orthopedics (Belle Mead, N.J.)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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