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How common are Achillies Tendonitis, Runner’s Knee and Shin Splints?



Acute and overuse injuries correlated to hours of training in master running athletes.

Knobloch K, Yoon U, Vogt PM.

Hannover Medical School, Plastic, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, Carl-Neuberg-Str. I, Hannover 30625, Germany.


BACKGROUND: The goal of the study was to determine the rate of running-associated tendinopathy in light of the amount of time training and other risk factors. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 291 elite runners (average age 42 +/- 9 years) who ran an average of 65.2 +/- 28.3 km/week were included with an overall distance of 9,980,852 km (34,416 km/athlete). Descriptive statistics with Chi2-Test, Fisher-Exact-Test and Mann-Whitney-Test were used to calculate relative risks (RR). RESULTS: The overall injury rate was 0.08/1000 km (2.93/athlete). Overuse injuries (0.07/1000 km) were more frequent than acute injuries (0.01/1000 km). Achilles tendinopathy was the predominant injury (0.02/1000 km) followed by anterior knee pain (0.01/1000 km), and shin splints (0.01/1000 km). Achilles tendon rupture was rarely encountered (0.001/1000 km). At some time, 56.6% of the athletes had an Achilles tendon overuse injury, 46.4% anterior knee pain, 35.7% shin splints, and 12.7% had plantar fasciitis. Mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy was more common (0.01/1000 km) than insertional (0.005/1000 km). An asphalt running surface decreased mid-portion tendinopathy risk (RR 0.47, p = 0.02). In contrast, sand increased the relative risk for mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy tenfold (RR 10, CI 1.12 to 92.8, p = 0.01). Runners with more than 10 years experience had an increased risk (RR 1.6, p = 0.04) for Achilles tendinopathy. CONCLUSION: Achilles tendinopathy is the most common running-associated tendinopathy followed by runner’s knee and shin splints.

PMID: 18785416 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

More information can be found on Pubmed


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