September 6, 2009

Football has most severe student injuries

High school football players and wrestlers have the highest rate of severe injuries, U.S. researchers found.

Researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, said males experienced a higher rate of severe injuries due to the large number of severe injuries that occurred in football and wrestling. Athletes in those sports miss on average at least 21 days of participation a year.

In sports such as soccer, basketball and baseball/softball, females sustained a higher severe injury rate. In all sports studied, severe injury rates were higher in competition than in practice.

Twenty-nine percent of severe injuries occurred to the knee, making it the most commonly injured body site, study co-author Christy Collins. The ankle accounted for 12 percent followed by shoulder at 11 percent.

The study, published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, found most severe and common injury diagnoses were fractures at 36 percent, complete ligament sprains at 15 percent and incomplete ligament sprains at 14 percent. Eighteen percent suffered a fracture of the hand and finger, 14 percent fractured an ankle and 11 percent fractured a wrist.