Fractures sideline high school athletes: study

August 5, 2010

Bone fractures require young athletes to miss more competition time than any other high school sports injury, suggests new research from the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH. According to a study abstract, researchers found athletes who suffered fractures missed three weeks or longer in 34 percent of cases, and were disqualified from participation for medical reasons in 24 percent of cases.

Fractures also are costly to treat, researchers found. Expensive diagnostic imaging -- including X-rays, MRIs and CT scans -- was required to diagnose 95 percent of fractures. Sixteen percent of fractures required surgery.

Fractures are the fourth most common high school sports injury behind ligament sprains, muscle sprains and bruising. Hands and fingers were involved in the highest percentage of fractures (28 percent), followed by wrist (10 percent) and lower leg (9 percent). Boys experienced 83 percent of all fractures.

The study was published in the July issue of Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.