Exploring the biomechanical load of a sliding on the skin: understanding the acute skin injury mechanism of player-surface interaction

Wilbert van den Eijnde*, Kenneth Meijer, Edwin Lamers, Malou Peppelman, Piet van Erp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Currently, there is a shortage of biomechanical data regarding acute skin injury mechanisms that are involved in player-surface contact in soccer on artificial turf. It is hypothesized that peak loads on the skin during the landing phase are an important factor in causing an acute skin injury.

METHODS: Simultaneously, video analysis and load measurements using an in-ground force plate of the landing phase of a sliding tackle were recorded and correlated with observed clinical skin lesions.

RESULTS: Video analysis revealed two sliding techniques: a horizontal jump and a sliding-in technique. The first technique resulted in both significantly higher vertical and horizontal peak forces during impact on the knee (2.3 +/- 0.4 kN and 1.4 +/- 0.5 kN) and thigh (4.9 +/- 0.9 kN and 1.8 +/- 0.5 kN). In combination with the observed skin lesion areas, a combined normal-shear stress of at least 24 and 14 N.cm(-2) induce abrasion injuries on dry artificial turf.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study confirm that high peak stresses during the landing phase of a sliding is critical for inducing skin injuries on the knee and thigh. Reducing these peak shear stresses could be an important first step towards preventive measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1205-1210
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


  • Soccer
  • Turf
  • Skin
  • Wounds and injuries
  • HIP

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