Incidence of major tendon ruptures and anterior cruciate ligament tears in US Army soldiers

Daniel W. White, Joseph C. Wenke, Dan S. Mosely, Sally B. Mountcastle, Carl J. Basamania

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Although a rare event, the prevalence of major tendon rupture has increased in recent decades. Identification of risk factors is important for prevention purposes. Hypothesis: Race is a risk factor for major tendon ruptures. Study Design: Cohort study (prevalence); Level of evidence, 2. Methods: All patients admitted for surgical management of a rupture of a major tendon at Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 1995 and 1996 were identified and evaluated for risk factors. Results: The authors identified 52 major tendon ruptures: 29 Achilles, 12 patellar, 7 pectoralis major, and 4 quadriceps tendon ruptures. All patients were active-duty soldiers, and 1 was a female soldier. Forty-one tendon ruptures occurred among black soldiers, 8 occurred among white soldiers, and 3 occurred among Latino soldiers. The population at risk included 93 224 exposures during the 2-year period, of which 67.1% were white, 24.5% were black, and 8.4% were self-classified as other race. The rate ratio for tendon rupture, adjusted for gender and age, was 13.3 (95% confidence interval, 6.2-28.5) between blacks and whites and 2.9 (95% confidence interval, 0.8-10.9) between Latinos and whites. Conclusion: The rate of major tendon rupture was 13 times greater for black men in this study population when compared with whites. Interventions among those at a higher risk for injury should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1308-1314
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Mechanism of injury
  • Patellar tendon rupture
  • Pectoralis major tendon rupture
  • Quadriceps tendon rupture
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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