Gender differences in female and male Australian Football injuries — A prospective observational study of emergency department presentations

Published:February 21, 2021DOI:



      To compare injury-profiles of females and males presenting to Emergency Departments (EDs) with an Australian Football injury.


      Prospective observational study.


      All patients presenting to one of 10 EDs in Victoria, Australia, with an Australian Football injury were included in the study. Data were prospectively collected over a 10 month period, coinciding with a complete Australian Football season, including pre-season training and practice matches. Relevant information was extracted from patient medical records regarding injury-type, body part injured, investigations and treatments required. Female and male data were compared with chi-squared and Fisher’s exact tests.


      1635 patients were included, of whom 242 (14.8%) were female. Females had a higher proportion of hand/finger injuries (34.3% v 23.4%), neck injuries (6.6% v 2.5%) and patella dislocations (2.9% v 0.6%). Males had a higher proportion of shoulder injuries (11.5% v 5.8%), skin lacerations (8.0% v 1.7%), and thorax/abdominal/pelvic injuries (5.7% v 2.1%). Concussion rates were similar between the genders, occurring in 14.1% of all patients. Anterior cruciate ligament injuries were infrequent (1.0%) and not significantly different between genders. Females received more imaging investigations (83.1% v 74.7%) and analgesia (62.4% v 48.5%). A higher proportion of males required admission to hospital (5.0% v 2.1%), usually for surgery.


      Australian Football injury profiles differed between females and males. Gender-specific injury prevention and management programs would be indicated based on the study findings.


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