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Rib stress injuries in the 20122016 (Rio) Olympiad: a cohort study of 151 Australian Rowing Team athletes for 88 773 athlete days


Harris, R and Trease, L and Wilkie, K and Drew, M, Rib stress injuries in the 2012-2016 (Rio) Olympiad: a cohort study of 151 Australian Rowing Team athletes for 88 773 athlete days, British Journal of Sports Medicine, 54 pp. 991-996. ISSN 0306-3674 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020.

DOI: doi:10.1136/bjsports-2019-101584


Aim: To describe the demographics, frequency, location, imaging modality and clinician-identified factors of rib stress injury in a cohort of elite rowers over the Rio Olympiad (20122016).

Methods: Analysis of prospectively recorded medical records for the Australian Rowing Team in 20132015 and the combined Australian Rowing Team and Olympic Shadow Squad in 2016, examining all rib stress injuries.

Results: 19 rib stress injuries (12 reactions and 7 fractures) were identified among a cohort of 151 athletes and included 12 female and 7 male cases, 11 open weight, 8 lightweight, 12 scull and 7 sweep cases. The most common locations of injury identified by imaging, were the mid-axillary line and rib 6. Period prevalence varied from 4% to 15.4% and incidence ranged from 0.27 to 0.13 per 1000 athlete days. There were no significant differences in prevalence by sex, sweep versus scull or weight class. There was a statistically significant increase in incidence in the pre-Olympic year (2015, p<0.001). MRI was the most commonly used modality for diagnosis. Stress fracture resulted in median 69 (IQR 56157) and bone stress reaction resulted in 57 (IQR 4578) days lost to full on water training.

Conclusions: In our 4-year report of rib stress injury in elite rowing athletes, period prevalence was consistent with previous reports and time lost (median ~10 weeks) was greater than previously published literature. Rib stress injury limits training and performance in elite rowers and MRI should be considered as a first line investigation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:rowing, rib stress injury, injury
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Sports medicine
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Trease, L (Dr Larissa Trease)
ID Code:139200
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2020-06-01
Last Modified:2021-09-29

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