Sport injuries in adolescents

  • Susanne Habelt Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospital of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
  • Carol Claudius Hasler Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Children´s Hospital of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
  • Klaus Steinbrück Clinic of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stuttgart-Botnang, Germany.
  • Martin Majewski | Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospital of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.


In spite of the wide range of injuries in adolescents during sports activities, there are only a few studies investigating the type and frequency of sport injuries in puberty. However, this information may help to prevent, diagnose and treat sports injuries among teens. 4468 injuries in adolescent patients were treated over a ten year period of time: 66,97% were boys and 32.88% girls. The most frequent sports injuries were football (31.13%) followed by handball (8.89%) and sports during school (8.77%). The lower extremity was involved in 68.71% of the cases. Knee problems were seen in 29.79% of the patients; 2.57% spine and 1.99% head injuries. Injuries consisted primarily of distortions (35.34%) and ligament tears (18.76%); 9,00% of all injuries were fractures. We found more skin wounds (6:1) and fractures (7:2) in male patients compared to females. The risk of ligament tears was highest during skiing. Three of four ski injuries led to knee problems. Spine injuries were observed most often during horse riding (1:6). Head injuries were seen in bicycle accidents (1:3). Head injuries were seen in male patients much more often then in female patients (21:1). Fractures were noted during football (1:9), skiing (1:9), inline (2:3), and during school sports (1:11). Many adolescents participate in various sports. Notwithstanding the methodological problems with epidemiological data, there is no doubt about the large number of athletes sustain musculoskeletal injuries, sometimes serious. In most instances, the accident does not happened during professional sports and training. Therefore, school teachers and low league trainer play an important role preventing further accidence based on knowledge of individual risk patterns of different sports. It is imperative to provide preventive medical check-ups, to monitor the sport-specific needs for each individual sports, to observe the training skills as well as physical fitness needed and to evaluation coaches education.



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Author Biography

Martin Majewski, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospital of Basel, Basel



Original Articles
Epidemiology, Sport injury, Adolescent
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How to Cite
Habelt, S., Hasler, C. C., Steinbrück, K., & Majewski, M. (2011). Sport injuries in adolescents. Orthopedic Reviews, 3(2), e18.