Lower extremity tendinopathies and plantar fasciitis were common injuries among military personnel, with plantar fasciitis incidents significantly associated with deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan, according to recent study results.
Lt. Col. Brett D. Owens, MD, Keller Army Community Hospital, West Point, New York, and colleagues used baseline data from the Millennium Cohort Study, which included long-term military personnel and service members enrolled in the cohort in 2001, 2004 and 2007. Of the 80,106 active-duty personnel followed for 1 year, the researchers identified 450 cases of Achilles tendinitis (69.33% men), 584 cases of patellar tendinopathy (63.53% men) and 1,228 incidents of plantar fasciitis (56.6% men). Significant associations between each condition and demographic, behavioral and occupational characteristics were determined through regression analyses.
Brett D. Owens
Researchers observed a significant association between an increased risk for plantar fasciitis and recent deployment (adjusted odds ratio=1.27; 95% CI, 1.04-1.56). An increased risk for Achilles tendinopathy had a marginal association with moderate weekly alcohol consumption (aOR=1.33; 95% CI, 1-1.76).
“This study … found plantar fasciitis significantly associated with deployment in support of the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the researchers concluded. “Other potentially modifiable risk factors associated with lower extremity tendinopathy outcomes included overweight/obesity, alcohol consumption, and certain job types.
“Other research is still needed that converges on subgroups of the population with higher propensity for injury. This work may also help focus preventive efforts for tendinopathies in military and other working adult populations.”
Disclosure: See the full study for a complete list of relevant financial disclosures.