Verletzungen und Überlastungsbeschwerden der deutschen paralympischen Athleten bei den Sommerspielen 2012 in London

Translated title of the contribution: Injuries in German athletes during the competition period at the London 2012 Paralympic Games

Anja Hirschmüller*, Jürgen Kosel, Eva Johanna Hübner, Rolf Kaiser, Reinhard Küper, Petra Michel-Leutheuser, Ulrike Schmieder-von Welck, Wolfgang Schultz, Hans Vater, Jürgen Völpel, Norbert P. Südkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Musculoskeletal complaints are frequently recorded in paralympic athletes. Despite the increased training and competition load and more professional support of handicapped athletes, documentation of injury and illnesses during high-level competition is sparse. The aim of the study was the standardised recording and analysis of all athletes' injuries of the German paralympic team during the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Material and Methods: During the In-competition-period all traumatic and overuse injuries of the 153 German athletes were recorded and documented in standardised case report forms. Documentation included effective date and severity of the injury, medical diagnosis, treatment modalities and consecutive restrictions in training and competition. Injury rates and localisations were analysed by sports discipline. Results: During the in-competition-period, 140 athletes attended medical consultation for 201 different orthopaedic complaints (1,4/injured athlete). The men age of injured athletes did not differ from the uninjured athletes (θ 33years). Higher injury rates were found in women's wheelchair basketball and rowing (1,6 injuries per competing athlete). Visual impaired athletes had no higher risk of injury.The most frequent diagnoses were myalgias (n=105), tendinopathies (n=14), unspecific back pain (n=14), vertebral subluxations (n=11), skin abrasions (n=10), contusions (n=6) and distorsions (n=8). Injuries were mainly located at the upper extremities (37,6%) and spine (37,6%), whereas the lower extremities were only affected in 21,5%. 12,5% of the complaints were already existing before the arrival in London. Most athletes were able to continue their sporting activities (77%). Conclusion: The overall injury rate was higher in the German Paralympic team compared to the report of the International Paralympic Committee. This is probably due to the different definitions of injury (in this study: recording of all consultations regardless of severity) and the good availability of medical services for German athletes. The mean age of paralympic athletes is higher than for Olympic sports but within Paralympians, older athletes seem to have no higher risk for injury. Injury rates were higher in rowing and women's wheelchair basketball, whereas no higher prevalence of injuries was found in athletes with visual impairments. According to the presented results, sports-specific injury prevention programs may be developed and evaluated in the future.

Translated title of the contributionInjuries in German athletes during the competition period at the London 2012 Paralympic Games
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalSport-Orthopadie - Sport-Traumatologie
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Epidemiology
  • Handicapped
  • Injury
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases
  • Paralympic Athlete
  • Paralympics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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