2013 AFL Injury Report

The 2013 AFL Injury Report represents 22 years of recording injury data by the AFL and its medical officers.

The highlights are:

  • There were increases in overall injury incidence, prevalence and recurrence rates in season 2013 compared with season 2012. However, there has been no statistically significant increase or decrease in overall injury incidence or prevalence in the three year period 2011-13 compared to the previous three years 2008-10. There was a statistically significant increase in both injury incidence and prevalence over the years 2008-13 (“High interchange era”) compared to the years 2002-07 (“Low interchange era”).
  • Hamstring strains are still the number one injury in the game in terms of both incidence and prevalence (missed games). Hamstring and groin injury incidence and prevalence in the period 2011-13 (since the introduction of the substitute rule) were both significantly lower than the period 2008-10. By contrast, calf, knee tendon and other leg/foot/ankle injury incidence and prevalence were significantly higher in the period 2011-13 compared to 2008-10.
  • Knee ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) incidence of new injuries was high in 2013, but in keeping with the rates of recent years. There were eight cases of ACL re-injury (graft failure) in 2013, three of them involving LARS ligament grafts. Overall, this represents a high failure rate which warrants further analysis.
  • There was 100% participation in the injury survey for all clubs and players, with a public release of the data, the 17th year in a row that both of these have occurred. Whilst injury surveillance programs are now widespread in professional sports leagues around the world, 100% participation and public release are not generally achieved, making the AFL survey a genuine world leader in this field.

To view full 2013 AFL Injury Report, click here