It’s Not Just “Turf Toe” — Natural Grass Seems Safer for Athletes

Most studies that found a difference in sports injury rates favored natural grass over artificial turf in a large systematic review

What’s the Claim?

A high-quality systematic review found that the rate of lower extremity sports injuries (mainly foot and ankle injuries, but probably also knee injuries) is higher when sports are played on artificial turf than on natural grass. The introduction of so-called new-generation turf surfaces did not seem to improve things. Although more studies concluded “no difference” than in favor of one surface, where studies did find a difference, almost all favored grass over turf as the safer surface for athletes. The three studies of the 53 evaluated in this systematic review that favored turf all were funded by turf-industry sources.

How’s It Stack Up?