Medical Surveillance Monthly Report (MSMR). Volume 8, Number 1, January/February 2002
ARMED FORCES HEALTH SURVEILLANCE CENTER SILVER SPRING MD
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Injuries and musculoskeletal conditions impact the health and military operational readiness of U.S. Armed Forces service members more than any other category of medical conditions. In addition, injuries and musculoskeletal conditions account for the largest direct costs of medical care. Non-traumatic ruptures of the achilles tendon are relatively common injuries of recreationally active, middle-aged adults. They are debilitating injuries that require long periods of rehabilitation. For these reasons, in the military, achilles tendon ruptures can disproportionately affect senior leaders and have disproportionately large impacts on unit readiness and operational effectiveness. Several reports mainly from Scandinavian countries have documented increasing rates of achilles tendon ruptures in general populations. The increasing rates have generally been attributed to increasing participation of middle-aged adults in high risk sports e.g., volleyball, badminton, soccer. A review of surgically repaired achilles tendon ruptures in the U.S. military found that Black soldiers were at higher risk than others and that basketball was the most frequently reported activity at the time of injury. This study reports frequencies, rates, and trends of achilles tendon ruptures among active duty service members between January 1998 and May 2001 and identifies subgroups at highest risk. Rates and trends of non-traumatic ruptures of other tendons are included for comparison.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Stress Physiology
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies