3 years ago

Epidemiology of musculoskeletal injuries sustained by Naval Special Forces Operators and students

The aim of this analysis was to describe the incidence and common types of medical chart-reviewed musculoskeletal injuries, among four distinct groups of Naval Special Warfare (NSW) personnel: Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) Operators, SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) students, Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman (SWCC) Operators, and Crewman Qualification Training (CQT) students. Design Descriptive cross-sectional study. Methods Medical records were reviewed for 920 NSW personnel. MSI were described and classified by frequency and incidence; anatomic location; injury type and cause; activity during injury; and potential for prevention. Results The frequency of MSI was 23.1, 46.5, 31.6, and 17.0 per 100 participants per year among SEAL, SQT, SWCC, and CQT, respectively. Upper extremity MSI were the most common in SEAL, lower extremity MSI were common in the other groups. The most frequent MSI anatomic sub-locations varied across groups (SEAL: shoulder, 21.6% of MSI; SQT: foot and toes, 17.0%; SWCC: lumbopelvic spine, 21.7%; and CQT: knee, 30.3%). Pain/spasm/ache were the most common MSI type in SEAL (29.7%) and SWCC (21.7%), tendonitis/tenosynovitis/tendinopathy was the most common MSI type in SQT (21.0%), and tendonitis/tenosynovitis/tendinopathy and fracture were the most common in CQT (15.2% each). A considerable proportion of MSI were classified as potentially preventable − SEAL: 35.1%, SQT: 53.0%, SWCC: 36.7%, and CQT: 21.2%. Conclusions MSI cause considerable morbidity among NSW Operators and students, with distinct patterns of distribution by anatomic location and injury type. Since many injuries may be preventable, targeted interventions may be able to mitigate MSI risk.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1440244017310320

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