EPIDEMIOLOGY OF SPORTS INJURIES AMONG HIGHLY TRAINED YOUTH MULTISPORT ATHLETES

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Abstract

Background

Injury epidemiology is imperative for the development of prevention strategies. Apart from football, little is known about injury characteristics on young elite athletes.

Objective

The aim of the present study is to examine the incidence of injuries sustained by adolescent highly trained multisport athletes.

Design

Longitudinal prospective study.

Setting

Aspire Academy for sport.

Patients (or Participants)

166 male adolescent athletes (mean age 15.1+/−1.85) enrolled in the academy for both school and training.

Interventions (or Assessment of Risk Factors)

Using an injury surveillance system and record of training exposure (hours) during 5 consecutive seasons according to injury, body part, severity and mechanism. An injury was recorded as physical complaint requiring the attention of the medical staff. Overuse injuries were defined as injuries resulting from repetition of micro-trauma and with insidious onset. The severity of an injury was based on time loss (TL) criterias (Timpka et al. 2014).

Main Outcome Measurements

The incidence of overall injuries (per 1000 training Hours), injuries with TL, and no time loss (NTL), growth and overuse injuries were computed.

Results

Altogether 643 injuries were documented. Of these injuries, 87% were TL injuries with an incidence of 4.8 per 1000 hours; (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.4–5.2). Overuse injuries represented 50.3%. The prevalence of growth related injuries accounted for 20%. Exposure to training was associated with an increase of overuse injuruies (relative risk [1.03]). The most commonly diagnosed type of injury was muscle and tendon injuries (30.1%). Most injuries were located at the lower extremities (67%), with the majority affecting the foot and ankle (22%). There were only 13% serious injuries.

Conclusions

This study revealed high rates of overuse injuries and growth related conditions. Most injuries were minor. Our findings were consistent with similar studies on youth soccer. Further investigation is required to define injury potential risk factors.

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