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Association of Injury History and Incident Injury in Cadet Basic Military Training.

Publication Status: Published

Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)

Sponsoring Office: Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences

Congressionally Mandated: No

Funding Source: Undetermined

Release Date/Publication:

Principle Investigator Status: Academia

Primary DoD Data Source: Defense Medical Surveillance System

Secondary DoD Data Source:


To determine the association between injury history at enrollment and incident lower extremity (LE) injury during cadet basic training among first-year military cadets.

Medically treated LE injuries during cadet basic training documented in the Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) were ascertained in a prospective cohort study of three large U.S. military academies from 2005-2008. Both acute injuries (ICD-9 codes in the 800-900s, including fracture, dislocations, sprains/strains) and injury-related musculoskeletal injuries (ICD-9 codes in the 700s, including inflammation and pain, joint derangement, stress fracture, sprain/strain/rupture, and dislocation) were included. Risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed using multivariate log-binomial models stratified by gender.

During basic training there were 1,438 medically treated acute and 1,719 musculoskeletal-related LE injuries in the 9,811 cadets. The most frequent LE injuries were sprains/strains (73.6% of acute) and inflammation and pain (89.6% of musculoskeletal-related). The overall risk of incident LE injury was 23.2% [95%CI: 22.3%, 24.0%]. Cadets with a previous history of LE injury were at increased risk for incident LE injury. This association was identical in males (RR=1.74 [1.55, 1.94]) and females (RR=1.74 [1.52, 1.99]). In site-specific analyses, strong associations between injury history and incident injury were observed for hip, knee ligament, stress fracture, and ankle sprain. Injury risk was greater (p<0.01) for females (39.1%) compared to males (18.0%). The elevated injury risk in females (RR=2.19 [2.04, 2.36]) was independent of injury history (adjusted RR=2.09 [1.95, 2.24]).

Injury history upon entry to the military is associated with incidence of LE injuries sustained during cadet basic training. Prevention programs targeted at modifiable factors in cadets with a prior history of LE injury should be considered.


Kucera KL, Marshall SW, Wolf SH, Padua DA, Cameron KL, Beutler AI. Association of Injury History and Incident Injury in Cadet Basic Military Training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016 Jan 13.

Last Updated: July 11, 2023
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