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Nov 2011

Translating Cost-effective Injury Prevention Research Into Sustainable Change on the Playing FieldThe Youth Injury Epidemic

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Orthopedics and Pediatrics (Dr Brooks) and UW Health Sports Medicine Center (Dr McGuine), University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011;165(11):1049-1050. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.174

High school sports participation is at an all-time high, with almost 1 million adolescent girls participating in interscholastic basketball and soccer competition each year.1 Youth participation in sports enhances communication and leadership skills, improves self-esteem, and reduces the likelihood of getting pregnant, smoking, using drugs, or engaging in suicidal behavior.2,3 However, the risk of sports-related musculoskeletal injury may mitigate these benefits. Each year, an estimated 1 in 3 female high school athletes sustains a soccer- or basketball-related injury.4 In addition to the economic impact of injury, these athletes may have long-term sequelae such as joint osteoarthritis, cessation of physical activity, higher rates of chronic medical conditions, and worse self-reported quality of life.5 This sports-related injury epidemic represents a significant public health issue in our growing young athletes.

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