In the United States, student participation in high school sports has almost doubled in the last 40 years. Now, more than 7.9 million students compete in at least one high school sport during the academic year. And, while the health and social benefits of high school sports can’t be underestimated, student athletes are at risk for a wide variety of sports injuries.
In fact, athletic activities are the most common cause of hand fractures in high school students – in both boys and girls. And, relative to all other sports-related broken bones, hand and wrist injuries require surgery more frequently than fractures to other parts of the body.
High School Sports Injury by Gender
Previously, studies had indicated that in boys’ baseball, basketball, ice hockey, track and field, and wrestling, fracture of the hand or wrist fracture was the most common reasons for medical disqualification (MDQ) – either for the season of for the rest of the student athlete’s sports career.
For girls, fracture of the hand or wrist fracture was the most common reasons for medical disqualification (MDQ) in softball and field hockey.
Statistics on High School Sports Injury Rate
A recent study was newly conducted, with results reported in Pediatrics, to calculate the rate of hand and/or wrist injuries in high school sports participants.
There results of the sports injury study found the following statistics:
During 40,195,806 Athletic Events 6723 hand and/or wrist injuries occurred;
The hand/wrist injury rate among high school athletes is 1.7 per 10,000 Athletic Events;
Hand/wrist sports injury rate during games was 3.3 per 10,000 AE;
Hand/wrist sports injury rate during practices was 1.1 per 10,000 AE;
Statistics on High School Sports Injury by Sport
In the sports injury study, the rate of hand/wrist injuries varied greatly by sport:
Football: 4.3 hand/wrist sports injuries per 10,000 Athletic Events;
Boys’ lacrosse: 1.9 hand/wrist sports injuries per 10,000 Athletic Events;
Girls’ softball: 1.9 hand/wrist sports injuries per 10,000 Athletic Events;
Wrestling: 1.8 hand/wrist sports injuries per 10,000 Athletic Events;
Girls’ field hockey: 1.7 hand/wrist sports injuries per 10,000 Athletic Events;
Girls’ basketball: 1.7 hand/wrist sports injuries per 10,000 Athletic Events;
Statistics on High School Sports Injury by Type
The most common hand and wrist sports injuries found in the study were:
Ligament sprain 9.0%.
In the study the injured high school athletes most frequently returned to play in 7 days or less – which represents 45.7%. However, 12.4% of injured high school athletes were kept out of sports for 3 weeks or more.
Sports Injury Doctor Macomb County
The study concluded that the prevalence of hand and wrist injuries in high school athletes, coupled with the loss of playing time, burdensome medical costs, and academic challenges means more needs to be done. Working with your team’s coaches and athletic department to identify and implement effective injury prevention programs – including requiring protective gear – is essential.
If you are the parent of a high school student who has suffered a sports injury or pain in their fingers, wrist, elbow or arm, contact board certified Macomb County hand surgeon Doctor Rehman for a comprehensive evaluation and consultation. As with most medical conditions, early detection, awareness, and a prevention or treatment plan is the most effective way to ensure that your child heals rapidly – with no long term adverse effects or complications.
Doctor Rehman will assess your high school student’s individual situation, and prescribe the treatments that are best for his or her condition.
Macomb County High School Sports Injury Doctor: 248.335.2638