Sports Injuries


Lead Author(s): 

Kenneth L Cameron, PhD, MPH, ATC
Haley A. Bookbinder, MEd, ATC
Brett D. Owens, MD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I Watkins-Castillo, PhD

Chapter Supporter: 

Sports are integrally woven into the fabric of American society. From being a fan, through participation in recreational athletics, all the way to participation in competitive club, high school, collegiate, and professional athletics, sports are an important facet of our lives. Participation in sports and physical activities have several noted health and psychological benefits; however, over the past few decades, an increase in participation in both youth sports as well as recreational activity has been noted – with a resultant increase in both acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

The goal of this section is to provide an overview of the epidemiology of athletic injuries in the United States population. As we ascend the athletic ladder from recreational activities to professional sports, we note an increase in participation and injury data available. However, we have poor mechanisms and infrastructure to study injuries among those engaged in the lowest levels of athletic participation.  For example, there is limited data on the middle-aged person who begins jogging for fitness or the 12-year old who rides a bicycle.  Similarly, as youth sports club participation has become more popular in the United States there are few resources to study injuries in this setting. We will attempt to provide an overview of these less organized athletic injuries from available data. We will also focus on higher levels of organized sports, primarily scholastic sports (high school level) and intercollegiate sports.


  • Fourth Edition

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