Orthopedic injury profiles in adolescent elite athletes: A retrospective analysis from a sports medicine department

  • Aim: The aim of the study was to identify common orthopedic sports injury profiles in adolescent elite athletes with respect to age, sex, and anthropometrics. Methods: A retrospective data analysis of 718 orthopedic presentations among 381 adolescent elite athletes from 16 different sports to a sports medical department was performed. Recorded data of history and clinical examination included area, cause and structure of acute and overuse injuries. Injury-events were analyzed in the whole cohort and stratified by age (11–14/15–17 years) and sex. Group differences were tested by chi-squared-tests. Logistic regression analysis was applied examining the influence of factors age, sex, and body mass index (BMI) on the outcome variables area and structure (α = 0.05). Results: Higher proportions of injury-events were reported for females (60%) and athletes of the older age group (66%) than males and younger athletes. The most frequently injured area was the lower extremity (47%) followed by the spine (30.5%) and the upper extremity (12.5%). Acute injuries were mainly located at the lower extremity (74.5%), while overuse injuries were predominantly observed at the lower extremity (41%) as well as the spine (36.5%). Joints (34%), muscles (22%), and tendons (21.5%) were found to be the most often affected structures. The injured structures were different between the age groups (p = 0.022), with the older age group presenting three times more frequent with ligament pathology events (5.5%/2%) and less frequent with bony problems (11%/20.5%) than athletes of the younger age group. The injured area differed between the sexes (p = 0.005), with males having fewer spine injury-events (25.5%/34%) but more upper extremity injuries (18%/9%) than females. Regression analysis showed statistically significant influence for BMI (p = 0.002) and age (p = 0.015) on structure, whereas the area was significantly influenced by sex (p = 0.005). Conclusion: Events of soft-tissue overuse injuries are the most common reasons resulting in orthopedic presentations of adolescent elite athletes. Mostly, the lower extremity and the spine are affected, while sex and age characteristics on affected area and structure must be considered. Therefore, prevention strategies addressing the injury-event profiles should already be implemented in early adolescence taking age, sex as well as injury entity into account.

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Author:Michael Cassel, Juliane Müller, Othmar Moser, Mares Elaine Strempler, Judith Reso, Frank Mayer
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in Physiology
Publisher:Frontiers Media
Document Type:Article (specialist journals)
Date of OPUS upload:2022/09/14
Date of first Publication:2019/05/09
Publishing University:Hochschule Trier
Release Date:2022/09/14
Tag:complaints; epidemiology; overuse injuries; risk factors; sports; symptoms
GND Keyword:Überlastungsschaden; Epidemiologie; Risikofaktor; Sport; Leistungssportler
Article Number:544
Page Number:10
First Page:1
Last Page:10
Departments:FB Informatik + Therapiewissenschaft
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International