Retrospective Analysis of Head and Maxillofacial Injuries: FIFA World Cup 2022 Report

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Maxillofacial trauma, virtual planning, Athletic injuries, facial bones, digital planning, sports devices, sports medicine, protective devices, digital technology


Objectives: The aim of this study is to analyze the incidence, causes and consequences of head and maxillofacial injuries in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Methods: This retrospective study, following the STROBE guideline, conducted an online investigation during the 2022 World Cup, with a specific focus on injuries resulting in player substitutions or absences of at least one match. To mitigate potential injury exaggeration, journalistic reports were prioritized over video analysis. The analysis of injuries involved the utilization of descriptive statistics, the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, and the Pearson correlation test, with a significance threshold set at p<0.05. The analytical tools Microsoft Excel and RStudio were employed. Comparative insights were derived from previous FIFA World Cup data; however, injuries lacking sufficient recovery time were classified as preseason injuries, potentially introducing an element of bias to the analysis.

Results: During the FIFA World Cup 2022, a comprehensive analysis revealed a total of 123 injuries leading to player substitutions or subsequent game absences, of which seven were localized in the head or maxillofacial region. Statistical analysis indicated a departure from normal data distribution, and a robust correlation was observed between the number of players in national leagues and injury incidence. Noteworthy is the participation of 42 distinct national soccer leagues in contributing players to the tournament's national squads, with no specific league demonstrating a predisposition to higher injury rates. Within the dataset, three maxillofacial injuries were identified. It is of interest that five athletes opted for facemasks as protective measures for the maxillofacial region, and remarkably, only one of them experienced an injury during the World Cup but subsequently resumed play in subsequent matches, while the remaining four athletes had sustained injuries prior to the tournament.

Conclusion: The 2022 FIFA World Cup was associated with a low number of head and maxillofacial injuries, with collisions with other players being the most common cause. Despite their limited occurrence, these injuries can have severe implications. In response to the increase in concussions, FIFA implemented an improved safety protocol, which involves immediate game halts for medical assessment and allows player substitutions without affecting the team's allotted substitutions. This change has been well-received by stakeholders. Furthermore, the use of protective equipment, such as custom-made shields, is growing in popularity and has the potential to reduce injury severity and shorten recovery time. Modern technology enables the creation of comfortable and effective protective gear, enhancing player safety. Overall, the study emphasizes the importance of injury prevention strategies in sports, calling for continued advancements in protective equipment design and increased transparency in injury reporting.


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The anatomical location of the injuries




How to Cite

Grillo, R., Borba, A., Brozoski, M., Ali, K., Samieirad, S., Al-Moraissi, E., & Naclério-Homem, M. da G. (2023). Retrospective Analysis of Head and Maxillofacial Injuries: FIFA World Cup 2022 Report. European Journal of Therapeutics, 29(4), 706–711.