The incidence and risk factors for the development of fractures in military recruits and qualified personnel: A rapid review

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Aim: To identify and synthesise findings from studies reporting on the incidence of, and risk factors for, traumatic fractures in military personnel.
Design: Rapid review

Methods: Following the PRISMA guidelines, PubMed, EBSCO, CINAHL and ProQuest databases were systematically searched using key terms derived from the following concepts: ‘fractures’, ‘work’ and ‘risk’. Key findings from the included studies were extracted and tabulated, including risk factors, incidence and risk ratios.

Results: Twenty-eight studies were included, with four studies reporting on recruit/trainees and 24 reporting on qualified military personnel. Recruit incidence ranged from 7.7 – 29.5 cases per 1,000 person-years, while incidence in qualified personnel ranged from 1.9 – 57.6 cases per 1,000 person-years. Enlisted personnel, younger service members (18 – 29 years), and personnel of Army and Marines Corp branches were at increased risk. Fractures predominantly occurred in the lower extremities, although the hands were often a site of traumatic fracture. Risk factors and mechanisms identified for traumatic fractures included NSAID use, sports, physical training, motor vehicle accidents, collisions, blasts from improvised explosive devices, and gunshots, often in combat settings.

Conclusion: The findings highlight the incidence of fractures in recruits and qualified military personnel, and identify a range of risk factors in military environments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2023
EventAustralian Physiotherapy Association: INGNITE Physiotherapy Conference 2023 - Brisbane Convention Centre, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 5 Oct 20237 Oct 2023


ConferenceAustralian Physiotherapy Association
Abbreviated titleINGNITE 2023
OtherWe have the chance to take physiotherapy to new levels and ignite the future of the profession through innovation and collaboration. Barriers can be broken down and communities connected.

Physiotherapists can look to the future and commit to excellence and equality, for themselves and the profession. Challenges can be made and met, passions ignited for what is possible.

We can evolve and explore the possibilities and make sure that physiotherapy comes out better than ever before.

By igniting your imagination, great things can be achieved!
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