Cynthia A. Bir, MS, RN, Steven J. Cassatta, MSE, David H. Janda,
From The Institute for Preventative Sports Medicine, Ann Arbor,
World wide over 40 million amateurs participate in the team sport of soccer.
With 647,368 injuries occurring from 1989 through 1992, the risk of injury
during the play of soccer is evident. Lower extremity injuries have been found
to comprise 13.1% of the total injuries in soccer. To date, a comprehensive
evaluation of protective equipment utilized to prevent lower extremity injuries
in soccer has been lacking.
This study utilized a 5th-percentile Hybrid III female dummy to evaluate the
effectiveness of shin guards in attenuating the forces which can lead to lower
extremity injuries. A pendulum impact apparatus simulated one player being
kicked by another. Impacts were delivered to the anterior tibial region of the
Hybrid III dummy and peak loads were recorded. Load forces were reduced 41.2 to
77.1% with the utilization of shin guards. Even at extreme temperatures the
guards were found to be effective in lowering the amount of impact force
transferred to the shin region. The results of this study indicate that the use
of shin guards will attenuate the force of impact to the tibia and thus reduce
the risk of injury.
Key Words: Soccer - Shin Guards - Protective equipment.
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