By Dan Browne on 27 May 2014

With Brits buying over 38,000 tickets to the World Cup, it is expected that thousands will be jetting off to sunny Brazil this June. Kick-off is just a few weeks away so leading travel insurance specialist, Columbus Direct, has looked at the top football injuries and how much it would cost for treatment in Brazil.

Top 5 football injuries and the cost for treatment in Brazil

  • Hamstring sprain – This type of injury is usually treated with anti-inflammatory painkillers and rest. Surgery may be performed for tendon avulsion injuries, where the tendon has pulled completely away from the bone. Surgery involves hamstring re-attachment to either the pelvis or the shinbone, costing about £800 and £300 for anaesthetic.
  • Sprained ankle – One of the most frequent injuries on the football field. To see a doctor, plus x-ray, physiotherapy and painkiller costs, it can cost around £235.
  • Knee Cartilage Tear – A knee cartilage tear requires knee-arthroscopy or keyhole surgery and the cost can range between £850 and £1450 to get treatment.
  • Hernia – The most common hernia for a footballer is an inguinal hernia, which is a swelling or lump in the groin area. The cost for repair would be around £690 including anaesthetic.
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) – One of the most common knee injuries is an anterior cruciate ligament sprain or tear and the cost for treatment can range between £1,345 and £1,440.

Footballer Broken Leg 300X200Just outside the top five list was the dreaded broken metatarsal. Metatarsals are the five long bones in the forefoot which connect the ankle bones to those of the toes. England’s Word Cup squad are famous for being hit with the so called ‘metatarsal curse’. David Beckham, Gary Neville, Michael Owen and Ledley King have all suffered but Wayne Rooney is known to have suffered the most, famously breaking his fourth metatarsal in 2006 but luckily recovering in time for the World Cup that year. Cost for treatment ranges between £1,040 and £1,625.

Columbus Direct also looked at the cost for repatriation when in Brazil. Using an air carrier such as British Airways could cost up to £13,200, dependent on the type of repatriation needed. If a specialist carrier with intensive care provision or an Air Ambulance is needed, this cost could be £66,000 for a Brazil carrier and around £94,000 for a USA carrier. 

Carioca Brazilians Rio De Janeiro Brazil Sunset Beach Volleyball 199X300Greg Lawson, Head of Retail at Columbus Direct, said: “As host country of this summer’s FIFA World Cup, ABTA has rated Brazil as the number one destination to visit this year. Our research into the cost for treatment in Brazil does show how costly injuries and repatriation could be for holidaymakers.

We’re not expecting to insure too many professional footballers but I’m sure a lot of football fans will enjoy having a casual kick about on the beach between matches. No doubt the mix of Brazilian sun, sea, sand and soccer will be a recipe for a few injuries – from minor twists to the more intense treatment.

However, whilst the England team will have a team of doctors with them and wouldn’t have to personally worry about medical costs, Brits travelling to attend the finals need to make sure they are covered. Brazil and the UK have no reciprocal health care agreement so we strongly advise that all visitors get comprehensive medical insurance before travelling to the World Cup.

At Columbus, we always want holidaymakers to be active and enjoy their holiday – whatever the destination. Our priority is for our customers to feel confident that they are covered and not let any worry interfere with their holiday enjoyment. We want all those attending this year’s World Cup to have a great time and, of course, C’MON ENGLAND!”


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