Introduction Non-battle injuries have been the leading cause of medical evacuation in the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This study investigates the hypothesis, that the occurrence of knee problems could be associated with mounted patrolling in armoured vehicles independent of other risk factors.
Method Retrospective questionnaire-based cohort study of Danish soldiers deployed to Afghanistan during 1 February–31 July 2013.
Results 307 soldiers included. Response rate 70%. 33% reported knee pain. Main finding: Significant association between knee pain and time spent weekly on mounted patrols (OR 1.23, CI 1.07 to 1.41, p=0.003). Controlled for confounders age, body mass index and duration of military employment (OR 1.22, CI 1.06 to 1.41, p=0.006). Adjusted for confounders and all other risk factors (OR 1.25, CI 1.07 to 1.48, p=0.007). The main finding in a subset of the 33% with knee pain: Significant association between more severe knee problems with Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score below 400 and time spent weekly on mounted patrols (OR 1.49, CI 1.17 to 1.56, p=0.002).
Conclusions A major concern regarding knee problems among Danish deployed military personnel is identified. The risk of suffering from knee problems and the severity of symptoms increase with the amount of time spent inside a vehicle on mounted patrols.
- ORTHOPAEDIC & TRAUMA SURGERY
- PAIN MANAGEMENT
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