Bülent Zeren, MD* and Haluk H. Öztekin, MD,
From the * Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Traumatology, Karsiyaka, Izmir, Turkey, and the 2nd Clinic of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Atatürk Research and Training Hospital, Izmir, Turkey
Background: Professional and amateur soccer players often perform dramatic on-field feats of celebration after scoring a goal. Injuries may occur during these activities.
Purpose: With the aim of preventing such «score-celebration injuries» in the future, the authors examine these events in professional soccer players and discuss potential avenues for prevention.
Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.
Methods: Over the course of 2 seasons (19961998), 152 soccer players were evaluated at an orthopaedic clinic for injuries incurred during matches. Nine players (6%) had injured themselves while celebrating after scoring goals in a match. The type of celebration, injury type, treatment, and mean duration of recovery were noted.
Results: Seven of the 9 patients were male professional soccer players with ages ranging between 17 and 29 years (mean age, 24 years). The injuries occurred when the playing ground was natural turf in 8 cases; most injuries occurred in the second half of the game. The types of celebration maneuvers were sliding (prone or supine) and sliding while kneeling in 5 cases, piling up on jubilant teammates in 3 cases, and being tackled while racing away in 1 case. Injuries included ankle, clavicle, and rib fractures; medial collateral ligament sprain; low back strain; hamstring and adductor muscle strain; quadriceps muscle sprain; and coccyx contusion. The mean duration for recovery was 6.2 weeks. Rival team players were usually not responsible for such trauma.
Conclusion: Exaggerated celebrations after making a goal, such as sliding, piling up, and tackling a teammate when racing away, can result in serious injury. In addition to general measures for preventing soccer injuries, coaches and team physicians should teach self-control and behavior modification to minimize the risk of such injuries. More restrictive rules, which penalize such behavior, may assist in the prevention of score-celebration injuries.
The American Journal of Sports Medicine 33:1237-1240 (2005).