Objectives To estimate the financial burden of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions in amateur football (soccer) players in Australia over a single year, including both direct and indirect cost.
Methods Available national direct and indirect cost data were applied to the annual incidence of ACL reconstructions in Australia. Age-adjusted and sex-adjusted total and mean costs (ACL and osteoarthritis (OA)) were calculated for amateur football (soccer) players in Australia using an incidence-based approach.
Results The estimated cost of ACL reconstructions for amateur football players is $A69 623 211 with a mean total cost of $A34 079. The mean indirect costs are 19.8% higher than the mean direct costs. The mean indirect costs are lower in female (11.5%, $A28 628) and junior (15.3%, $A29 077) football players. The mean ACL costs are 3–4-fold greater than the mean OA costs ($A27 099 vs $A6450, respectively), remaining consistent when stratified by sex and age group. Our model suggests that for every 10% increase in adherence to injury prevention programmes, which equates to approximately 102 less ACL injuries per year, $A9 460 224 in ACL costs could be saved.
Conclusion While the number of ACL reconstructions per year among football players in Australia is relatively small, the annual financial burden is high. Our study suggests that if injury prevention exercises programmes are prioritised by stakeholders in football, significant cost-savings are possible.
- Sports / Leisure Facility
- Economic Analysis
- Burden Of Disease
Data availability statement
Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study.
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Contributors The first draft of this paper was prepared by AR in collaboration with KP, MK and EP. AR takes ownership of the study concept and design. BA supervised and contributed to the financial aspects of the study, including analysis and interpretation of data. All authors reviewed initial drafts for substantive inputs and approved the final version of the article.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.