Concussion History Is Associated With Increased Lower-Extremity Injury Incidence in Reserve Officers' Training Corps Cadets

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BMJ Military Health


© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. Introduction: Concussions have been associated with an increased risk of lower-extremity musculoskeletal injury (LE-MSI) in athletes and US Army soldiers, creating an added economic, physical and social burden. Yet, there is a paucity of evidence on this relationship among Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) cadets, a group which engages in activities with high-injury risk and will subsequently commission as active duty officers. This study aimed to examine the association between concussions and LE-MSI in ROTC cadets. Methods: 125 (83 were male) Army and Air Force ROTC cadets (19.8±2.0 years) from two large state universities' Army and Air Force ROTC programmes participated in this study. Cadets completed a reliable injury history questionnaire to ascertain the following variables of interest: (1) any concussion history, (2) reported concussions, (3) undiagnosed concussions, and (4) potentially unrecognised concussion history and LE-MSI history (eg, ankle sprain, knee sprain or muscle strain). Data were analysed using a χ2 test for association and binary logistic regression to determine ORs. Results: Cadets with any concussion history (n=42) had a significantly (p=0.035) higher association with LE-MSI (OR 2.47, 95% CI 1.05 to 5.83) than those without. Cadets who had a reported concussion (n=33) had a significantly (p=0.026) higher association with LE-MSI (OR 2.95, 95% CI 1.11 to 7.84) compared to cadets without. Conclusions: ROTC cadets with a history of diagnosed concussion were more likely to have suffered an LE-MSI than cadets without a concussion history. ROTC cadre should be aware of this relationship and incorporate injury prevention protocols.


Epidemiology; Epidemiology; Neurological injury; Sports medicine





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