Comparison of High School Knee Injuries by Gender

Photo: Bandaged knee

Knee injuries often occur after
sport; © Picture Desk

The researchers utilized for the first time data from the High School RIOTM online injury surveillance system which collects injury reports for nine high school sports from certified athletic trainers at 100 U.S. high schools selected to achieve a nationally representative sample. Data are collected for boys’ football, soccer, basketball, baseball and wrestling and girls’ soccer, volleyball, basketball and softball.

“Knee injuries in high school athletes are a significant area for concern,” said Dawn Comstock, PhD, CIRP principal investigator, faculty member at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and one of the study authors. The researchers found several interesting gender patterns. For example, while boys had a higher overall rate of knee injury, girls’ knee injuries were more severe. Girls were more likely to miss more than three weeks of sports activity - as opposed to fewer than one week for boys - and were twice as likely to require surgery. Girls were also found to be twice as likely to incur major knee injuries as a result of non-contact mechanisms, often involving landing, jumping or pivoting.

The study also identified illegal sports activity as a risk factor for major knee injury in high school sports. Although illegal play was identified as a contributing factor in only 5.7 percent of all knee injuries, 20 percent of knee injuries resulting from illegal play required surgery. This finding suggests the importance of making it clear to athletes, parents, coaches, and officials that illegal play has the potential to cause serious injury.

Study authors stressed that monitoring trends through continued surveillance of high school sports injuries is essential to fully understand the mechanisms behind major knee injury. “The study of knee injury patterns in high school athletics is crucial for the development of evidence-based targeted injury prevention measures,” Comstock added. “We know that sports injury rates can be decreased through such efforts.”

MEDICA.de; Source: Nationwide Children's Hospital