As football has evolved into the most popular sport among children and adolescents, the number of football-related injuries in junior players has also risen. This chapter provides an overview of the epidemiology of injuries in amateur and elite youth football. In general, football is a relatively safe sport with a low risk for major injuries in junior ages. However, the lower limbs, especially knee and ankle, are the most affected body region. The incidence and types of injuries depend on different biomechanical and physiological conditions during the growth phase. Fractures of the long bones are common injuries in prepubescent players, whereas ligament injuries or overuse syndromes more often occur during adolescence. Despite the faster healing process of young athletes’ bone or tendon injuries, the rehabilitation must provide sufficient healing and a gradual strength improvement before a safe return-to-play. Prevention strategies are well described but poorly implemented in youth football, especially among amateur teams and recreational football players.
- Youth football
- Football-related injury