New national study examines US high school sports-related fractures

Aug 03, 2010

The popularity of high school sports in the United States has continued to increase over the past decade, with more than 7.5 million athletes participating in school sports during the 2008-09 academic year. A new study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that 95 percent of fractures required costly diagnostic imaging, including X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, and 16 percent required surgical repair.

In addition to the high costs associated with fractures, the study found that due to their serious nature, fractures resulted in significantly more time lost from competition than other injury. Most resulted in three weeks or more time lost (34 percent) or medical disqualification from participation (24 percent).

"Fractures are a major concern for U.S. high school athletes. They can severely affect the athletes' ability to continue sports participation and can impose substantial medical costs on the injured athletes' families," explained study author Dawn Comstock, PhD, principal investigator in Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "Establishing measures to reduce fractures among U.S. high school athletes should be an important part of sports injury prevention policies."

Results of the study, published in the July issue of Clinical , showed that fractures were the fourth most common injury after ligament sprains, muscle sprains and bruising. Overall, the most frequently fractured body sites were the hand and finger (28 percent), wrist (10 percent) and lower leg (9 percent). The study also showed that boys sustained the majority (83 percent) of all fractures, and that while mechanisms of fractures differed between sports, half of all fractures occurred as a result of contact between athletes.

Additionally, nearly 10 percent of fractures were related to illegal activities.

"Illegal activities represent a preventable cause that should be targeted by prevention programs. Increasing penalties, strict enforcement of current penalties, and better education about rules and the dangers associated with breaking the rules could all help in reducing injuries related to illegal activities," said Dr. Comstock, also a faculty member of The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

This is the first national study to describe epidemiology of among U.S. high school athletes. Sports studied included football, boys' and girls' soccer, girls' volleyball, boys' and girls' basketball, wrestling, baseball and softball. Data for this study were collected from the 2005-09 National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance System, High School RIO™ (Reporting Information Online), which was funded in part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Explore further: Oil-swishing craze: Snake oil or all-purpose remedy?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study asks how safe is high school football?

Aug 15, 2007

Football, one of the most popular sports in the United States, is also the leading cause of sports-related injuries. During the 2005-06 season, high school football players sustained more than half a million ...

1st US study -- gymnastics lands thousands in ER

Apr 04, 2008

More than 600,000 children participate in school-sponsored and club-level gymnastics competitions annually in the United States. Yet gymnastics continues to be overlooked in terms of potential for injury, while having one ...

Recommended for you

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

6 hours ago

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury (Update)

6 hours ago

About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body ...

Autonomy and relationships among 'good life' goals

13 hours ago

Young adults with Down syndrome have a strong desire to be self-sufficient by living independently and having a job, according to a study into the meaning of wellbeing among young people affected by the disorder.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...