What is the Injury Incidence and Profile in Professional Male Ice Hockey? A Systematic Review.

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What is the Injury Incidence and Profile in Professional Male Ice Hockey? A Systematic Review.

Cattaneo M, Ramponi C, Thorborg K.



Background: Professional male ice hockey is characterized by a congested in-season match schedule and by different scenarios where the whole body is exposed to great internal and external forces. Consequently, injuries occur from head to toe. However, there is a lack of data synthesis regarding the injury incidence and profile in this population.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review to quantify the injury incidence rates in professional male ice hockey.

Study Design: Systematic Review

Methods: The electronic databases PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science, ProQuest-Sport medicine & Education Index, and Pro-Quest Dissertation and Thesis were searched utilizing terms related to ice hockey and injuries. Studies were included if they provided the incidence of injury in professional male hockey players and reported injuries in terms of time lost. The modified Newcastle Ottawa Scale for cohort studies and the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology - Sports Injury and Illness Surveillance Statement were used to assess the methodological quality of the studies.

Results: Eleven studies were included in the review. Match injury incidence ranged from 38 to 88.6 injuries/1000 hours of exposure, whereas training injury incidence varied from 0.4 to 2.6 injuries/1000 hours of exposure. Injuries of traumatic origin accounted for 76% to 96.6% of all injuries, with contusions and lacerations being the most common. Severe injuries accounted for 7.8% - 20% of all injuries. The lower extremities were the most susceptible to injury, comprising 27% to 53.7% of all reported injuries.

Conclusion: Professional male ice hockey players are exposed to a substantial risk of injury during competitions, with lower extremities being the most commonly affected body part. The majority of injuries are traumatic and severe injuries account for a notable portion of overall injury cases.