Surgical procedures performed at an NRL club over 10 years

Desmond Bokor, John Orchard, Sommit Dan, Elizabeth Steet, Merv Cross, Leon Neve, Jim Carmichael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction & Aim: To document the incidence of surgery at a professional rugby league team.
Methods: A prospective database of injuries treated, including operations performed, was kept at the Sydney Roosters NRL team (two senior grades and one junior grade) over the period January1998 – December 2007. Outcomes, including return to playtimes, revision surgery required and retirements due to injury were analysed.
Results: A total of 693 (426 senior and 267 junior) player seasonswere studied. There were 247 operations performed,representing a rate of surgery of 35.6 operations per 100 player seasons. A slight majority (55%) of these procedures were done in the off-season. The five most common procedures were 4.9 knee arthroscopies per 100 player seasons (25 primary procedures + 9 revision procedures),4.2 adductor tenotomies per 100 player seasons (25 primary procedures + 4 revisions), 3.0 shoulder reconstructions per100 players seasons (19 primary procedures + 2 revisions), 3.2 knee reconstructions per 100 player seasons (20 primary operations + 2 revisions) and 2.9 ankle arthroscopies per 100player seasons (19 primary operations + 1 revision). For both knee and shoulder reconstructions there appeared to be no net change in level of play between pre- and post-operative games. The failure rate of all surgery was 5%.
Conclusions: There is a high rate of surgery utilised for professional rugby league players. This series of moderate size shows good results (in terms of successful return to the same level of professional sport) for those operations that we chose to regularly use, including patellar tendon ACL grafts, open Bankart repair shoulder reconstructions and adductor tenotomies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-29
JournalSport Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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