Teen Sports Fractures Most Costly, Serious

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 6 (UPI) — Teen sports-related fractures result in more time lost and medical disqualifications than all other injuries combined, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, find 95 percent of fractures required costly diagnostic imaging, including X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scans. Sixteen percent require surgical repair.

The study, published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, also finds boys sustained 83 percent of all fractures, and half of all fractures occurred as a result of contact between athletes. Nearly 10 percent of fractures are related to illegal activities.

“Illegal activities represent a preventable cause that should be targeted by prevention programs,” principal investigator Dawn Comstock says in a statement “Fractures are a major concern for U.S. high school athletes. They can severely affect the athletes’ ability to continue sports participation and can impose substantial medical costs on the injured athletes’ families.”

Comstock suggests targeting illegal activities by increasing penalties, strictly enforcing current penalties and educating athletes about the dangers of rule breaking.

“Establishing measures to reduce fractures among U.S. high school athletes should be an important part of sports injury prevention policies,” Comstock says.

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