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Epidemiology of dislocations/separations among US high school athletes
  1. Z Y Kerr,
  2. C L Collins*,
  3. D Comstock
  1. Correspondence The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Center for Injury Research and Policy, 700 Children's Drive Columbus, OH 43205, USA


Background As participation in US high school sports increases, the number of student-athletes sustaining dislocations/separations may similarly increase. Many dislocations/separations are recurring, require surgery and have long recovery times.

Objective Investigate the epidemiology of dislocations/separations in a nationally representative sample of US high school athletes.

Methods Sports-related exposure and injury data were collected during the 2005–2009 academic years from a nationally representative sample of 100 US high schools via RIO.

Results In the nine sports studied, athletes sustained 755 dislocations/separations during 7 740 400 athlete exposures (AE) for a rate of 0.98 injuries per 10 000 AE. Dislocations/separations represented 3.6% of all high school athletic injuries. Overall, males had a higher dislocation/separation rate (1.30) (RR 3.91, 95% CI 3.12 to 4.89, p<.001) than females (0.33). However, among sports in which both males and females participated (ie, soccer, basketball, baseball/softball), rates of dislocations/separations for males (0.39) and females (0.34) did not differ (p=.406). Body parts most commonly injured were the shoulder (54.9%), wrist/hand (16.5%) and knee (16.0%). 18.4% of dislocations/separations were recurrent; 11.8% required surgery; and 62.2% of athletes returned to play in 3 weeks or less. The majority of dislocations/separations were sustained from contact with another player (52.4%).

Conclusions Developing effective sport-related preventive measures depends upon increasing our knowledge of dislocation/separation rates, patterns and risk factors.

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