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June 6th 2016

NFL ACL Injury Study: FieldTurf as Safe as Natural Grass

With multiple studies indicating that anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries occur more frequently in football than any other sport, it’s no surprise that field conditions come under close scrutiny after a player is injured.

When you also consider that today’s football players are bigger, faster and stronger than ever, the choice of surface becomes even more critical to player safety. Independent research has already proven that FieldTurf reduces ACL trauma among college football players (16% less injuries) and high school football players (43% less injuries) when compared to natural grass.

Now a new study by Dodson, Secrist, Bhat, Woods and Deluca performed at the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia concluded that players in the National Football League also experienced fewer ACL injuries on FieldTurf — which ranks as the most preferred artificial surface in the NFL, than on natural grass and competitive turf systems.

Researchers analyzed all publicly disclosed ACL tears occurring in NFL players between 2010 and 2013 to characterize injury trends and determine the incidence of re-injury. Their findings revealed that the ACL injury rate per team games played was .048 on FieldTurf, .050 on natural grass and .053 on all other turf fields combined.

The study didn’t reveal statistically significant differences between FieldTurf, competitive turf systems and natural grass. Therefore, the five researchers concluded that FieldTurf is safer than or as safe as natural grass and competing systems.

See the full study Here.

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