Obstacle Course Race Injuries: Rates & Patterns

Catherine Logan

October 15th, 2019

Return to Sport After Ankle Syndesmotic Injury: A Systemic Review
Source: Sports Health, first published December 14, 2019
Clinical Question: To evaluate return to sport for athletes after ankle syndesmotic injuries.
Bottom Line: Ankle syndesmotic injuries are challenging due to prolonged recovery periods. Despite this, this systematic review found a high rate of return to any sport at preinjury level.
Points to consider: This is a systematic review, level IV. A total of 10 studies and 312 patients with ankle syndesmotic injuries were included. Rate of return to injury at preinjury level or any injury level of sport was 93.8% and 97.6%, respectively. Mean time to return to sport was 46.4 days.
Takeaway: Recovery from ankle syndesmotic injury is time-consuming, yet athletes do return to their same level of activity/sport at high rates.

Hurt on the Hill: A Longitudinal Analysis of Obstacle Course Racing Injuries.
Source: OJSM, first published June 20, 2018
Clinical Purpose:To analyze injury rates and patterns at obstacle course race (OCR) events
Bottom Line: The majority of injuries may be treated on site, but there is still a serious potential for life-threatening emergencies to occur.
Points to Consider:  Descriptive epidemiology study. A total of 1782 injuries occurred over 3 seasons from 73,366 participants, with an overall average injury rate of 2.4%. The most common injuries treated were lacerations and musculoskeletal injuries. Patients were most often transported by EMS for fractures or dislocations. Other reasons for EMS transport were severe allergic reaction (n=2), dehydration (n=1), and head stroke (n=1).
Takeaway: The overwhelming majority of injuries were able to be treated by race course first responders.

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About the Author:
Catherine A. Logan, MD, MBA, MSPT is a sports medicine Orthopaedic Surgeon and writer. Based in Denver, CO, she is an attending at Colorado Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics at Rose Medical Center. Dr. Logan is the Head League Physician for Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) member of the team physician pool for the US Ski & Snowboard teams each year. Dr. Logan completed her Orthopaedic Surgery residency at the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program and her Sports Medicine Fellowship training at the prestigious Steadman Philippon Research Institute/The Steadman Clinic in Vail, CO. Logan is also on the board of The Chill Foundation.