Musculoskeletal injuries in British Army recruits: a prospective study of incidence in different Infantry regiments

Jagannath Sharma, John Dixon, Sohrab Dalal, Robert Heagerty, Iain Spears

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Background: Musculoskeletal injuries and the subsequent attrition incurred during basic military training are a significant socioeconomic burden across many Defence forces. In order to plan an injury prevention strategy, the purpose of this study was to quantify the regiment specific musculoskeletal injury patterns and training outcomes. Methods: This was a prospective observational study of the Parachute (n = 734), Guards (n = 1044), Line (n = 3472) and Gurkha (n = 458) regiments of the British Army recruits during a 26 week basic military training programme over a two year period . The participant demographic characteristics were; age 18.9 years (SD ± 2.3), height 176.5 cm (SD ±7.80, mass 69 kg (SD ± 9.7) and body mass index 22.14 kg/m2 (SD ± 2.5). Results: The incidence of injuries (86, 46, 48 and 10%) were significantly different (p < 0.001) as were the first time pass out rates (p = 0.02) of 38, 51, 56 and 98% for Parachute, Guards, Line and Gurkha, respectively. Overuse injuries were more frequently reported than both acute and recurrent injuries in all Regiments (X2 = 688.01, p< 0.01). Conclusions: The disparity in injury incidence and training outcome between Infantry Regiments, suggests that the demands of training be taken into account when devising injury prevention strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)-
JournalJournal of the Royal Army Medical Corps
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2017


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