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Musculoskeletal injuries in real tennis

Authors Humphrey JA, Humphrey PP, Greenwood AS, Anderson JL, Markus HS, Ajuied A

Received 17 December 2018

Accepted for publication 3 April 2019

Published 23 May 2019 Volume 2019:10 Pages 81—86


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Andreas Imhoff

JA Humphrey,1 PP Humphrey,2 AS Greenwood,3 JL Anderson,4 HS Markus,5 A Ajuied6

1Orthopaedic Department, Milton Keynes University Hospital, Milton Keynes, MK65LD, UK; 2School of Pharmacy, University College London, London, WC1N 1AX, UK; 3Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, St Mary’s University, Twickenham, TW1 4SX, UK; 4Medical Education Department, University of Brighton, Brighton, BN1 9PH, UK; 5Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 2PY, UK; 6Orthopaedic Department, Guys’ and St Thomas’ NHS Trust, London SE1 9RT, UK

Introduction: Real tennis is a growing, unique, and well-established sport. To date, there has been no epidemiological data on real tennis injuries. The primary aim of this retrospective study is to record the incidence and document any trends in real tennis musculoskeletal injuries, so as to improve injury awareness of common and possibly preventable injuries.
Methods: A surveillance questionnaire e-mailed to 2,036 Tennis & Rackets Association members to retrospectively capture injuries sustained by amateur and professional real tennis players over their playing careers.
Results: A total of 485 (438 males and 47 females) questionnaires were fully completed over 4 weeks. A total of 662 musculoskeletal injuries were recorded with a mean of 1.4 injuries per player (range 0–7). The incidence of sustaining an acute real tennis musculoskeletal injury is 0.4/1000 hrs. The three main anatomical locations reported injured were elbow 15.6% (103/662), knee 11.6% (77/662), and face 10.0% (66/662). The most common structures reported injured were muscle 24% (161/661), tendon 23.4% (155/661), ligament 7.0% (46/661), soft tissue bruising 6.5% (43/661), and eye 6.2% (41/661). The majority of the upper limb injuries were gradual onset (64.7%, 143/221), and the lower limb injuries were sudden onset (72.0%, 188/261).
Conclusion: This study uniquely provides valuable preliminary data on the incidence and patterns of musculoskeletal injuries in real tennis players. In addition, it highlights a number of reported eye injuries. The study is also a benchmark for future prospective studies on academy and professional real tennis players.

Keywords: epidemiology, musculoskeletal injuries, real tennis

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