Incidence and risk factors of exercise-related knee disorders in young adult men
Harri K. Pihlajamäki,
Mickael C. Parviainen,
Hannu Kautiainen and
BMC Musculoskeletal DisordersBMC series –
Published: 7 August 2017
Open Peer Review reports
Musculoskeletal disorders and injuries are common causes of morbidity and loss of active, physically demanding training days in military populations. We evaluated the incidence, diagnosis, and risk factors of knee disorders and injuries in male Finnish military conscripts.
The study population comprised 5 cohorts of 1000 men performing their military service, classified according to birth year (1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, and 1989). Follow-up time for each conscript was the individual conscript’s full, completed military service period. Data for each man were collected from a standard pre-information questionnaire used by defense force healthcare officials and from all original medical reports of the garrison healthcare centers. Background variables for risk factor analysis included the conscripts’ service data, i.e., service class (A, B), length of military service, age, height, weight, body mass index (BMI), underweight, overweight, obesity, smoking habit, education, diseases, injuries, and subjective symptoms.
Of the 4029 conscripts, 853 visited healthcare professionals for knee symptoms during their military service, and 103 of these had suffered a knee injury. Independent risk factors for the incidence of knee symptoms were: older age; service class A; overweight (BMI 25.0–29.9 kg/m2); smoking habit; comprehensive school education only; and self-reported previous symptoms of the musculoskeletal, respiratory, and gastrointestinal system. The majority of visits to garrison healthcare services due to knee symptoms occurred during the first few months of military service. Knee symptoms were negatively correlated with self-reported mental and behavioral disorders.
The present study highlights the frequency of knee disorders and injuries in young men during physically demanding military training. One-fifth of the male conscripts visited defense force healthcare professionals due to knee symptoms during their service period. Independent risk factors for the incidence of knee symptoms during military service were age at military service; military service class A; overweight; smoking habit; comprehensive school education only; and self-reported previous symptoms of the musculoskeletal system, respiratory system, or gastrointestinal system. These risk factors should be considered when planning and implementing procedures to reduce knee disorders and injuries during compulsory military service.
Director of Bartold Gold