Musculoskeletal injuries among elite artistic and rhythmic Greek gymnasts: A ten-year study of 156 elite athletes


Gymnastics ; Injury ; Rythmic ; Artistic ; Elite athletes.

Published online: Jul 15 2019

Odysseas Paxinos , Leonidas Mitrogiannis , Athanasios Papavasiliou , Emmanouil Manolarakis , Aikaterini Siempenou , Vasilis Alexelis , Alexandra Karavasili

From the 251 Hellenic Air Force Hospital, Athens, Greece


Data on elite gymnast injuries outside North America is sparse. We report the injuries recorded over a period of 10 years in 156 Greek elite male and female gymnasts. A total of 2390 injuries were reported for a rate of 1,5 new injuries per year per athlete. Most commonly affected areas were the hip (18.5%), the ankle (16.5%), the lumbar spine (16%) and the foot (16%). The most frequent diagnosis was tendinitis (32%), followed by low back pain (20%), and sprains (12%). Fifteen athletes (9%) sustained serious injuries that required surgery. Rhythmic gymnasts had significantly more overuse type injuries compared to artistic gymnasts (p = 0.049). Gymnastics is a sport with a high incidence of musculoskeletal pathology that needs proper documentation in order to establish preventive measures.