Articles - Adapted Physical Activity and Disability Sport

2013 volume 3(1) pp. 6–11
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Injuries in volleyball for athletes with a disability. A prospective long term study


Authors: Irina Scibrja, Irina Scibrja, Irina Scibrja, Irina Scibrja

Aim: There are no wide estimates on sports injury risk in athletes with a disability. Aim of this study was to prospectively investigate the incidence, type and extent of injury in WOVD  (Paralympic) volleyball.

Material and methods: Sitting (SV) and standing volleyball (StV) players were prospectively followed during the years 1995–2008. Data on participation limiting injury was collected by: 1) interviews of the individual players; 2) an original questionnaire filled in by the team’s medical staff.

Results: 474 international SV (88 female and 386 male) and 55 StV (male) players participated. An overall incidence in SV was 1.1 ± 0.1 per player/season or 5.1 ± 0.4 per 1000 training/competition hours. The most typical localizations of injury in SV were the lower back, shoulders, arms and fingers. The typical localizations of injury in StV were the ankle, knee, shoulder and the lower back.

Discussion: The overall injury rate in SV and StV is comparable to that in mainstream (FIVB) volleyball. The injury pattern is however different as the injuries are sport, disability and gender specific. The female players were absent from sport longer after shoulder and low back injuries. The injury rate of the shoulder region was about two times higher for the male SV players than for the female SV players. Paralympic volleyball players exhibit a predisposition for internal and external sports injury because of an existing pelvic/back asymmetry due to leg amputations, vertical impacts when moving on a court etc. Able bodied male players have similar overall injury incidence when participating in SV.

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.paralympic sport, leg amputee, sports injury, sitting volleyball.

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