Football is one of the most popular sports in the United States and a leading cause of sports-related injuries, with an injury rate almost twice that of basketball, the second most popular sport.
High school football players have an estimated injury rate or 2.56 per 1000 practices and an estimated injury rate or 12.04 per 1000 games. College football players have an estimated injury rate of 5.77 per 1000 practices and 40.23 per 1000 games.
The most common football injuries are ligament sprains (31.2%) and muscle/tendon strains or tendinitis (16.5%). The leg/ankle/foot is the most comonly injured body site (22.4%) followed by the knee (15.2%).

Most injuries are easily treatable with 48.6% of injuries resulting in return to play in 1 to 6 days. 9.7% of injuries are season ending. Offensive lineman are the most commonly injured followed by running backs and linebackers. Linebackers (15.0%) and wide receivers (14.8%) sustain the most season-ending injuries. Offensive positions are more likely to be injured than defensive positions overall. Less than 0.1% of injuries are career-ending.

Shoulder / Arm
Acromioclavicular Separation
Burner Syndrome
Clavicle fracture
Shoulder Dislocation
RTC tear
Posterior GH instability (lineman)
Elbow / Forearm
Olecranon bursitis
Triceps Tendon Rupture
Wrist / Hand
Jersey Finger
Mallet Finger
Hip / Thigh
Hamstring pull/tear
Hip Pointer
Iliotibial band friction syndrome
Sports Hernia
Knee / Leg
ACL tear
LCL tear
MCL tear
Medial tibial stress syndrome (Shin splints)
Meniscal Tear
PCL tear
Ankle / Foot
Achilles Tendonitis
High Ankle Sprain
Turf Toe
Head / Neck / Back
Herniated disc

Football Injury Prevention
There are many important opportunities to decrease football injuries.  As in all sports it is most important to maintain flexibility by stretching before and after practice or games.  Maintaining a proper diet and over physical fitness is important.  There are many type of protective equipement that decrease football injuries. 
-Football knee braces has been shown to decrease the risk of MCL injury, but does not affect ACL or LCL injuries
-Cowboy Collar can decrease the incidene of Burners and Stingers.
-Helmets are a key item to decrease the risk of concussion. 


Shankar PR, AJSM 2007;35:1295

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