ACL injuries increase among young athletes
A new study confirms what doctors working with young athletes already suspected: the number of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears among youths, particularly high school students, has risen during the past 20 years.
Researchers found the overall incidence of ACL tears among 6- to 18-year-old patients increased by 2.3 percent per year.
The researchers also calculated the rate of ACL tears surgically reconstructed and found that it increased by 3 percent per year over the study period.
Breaking down the increase based on gender, the study found that males had an overall increase of 2.2 percent per year and experienced peak rates of ACL tears at age 17.
Females, meanwhile, saw an increase of 2.5 percent per year and experienced most ACL tears at age 16. All female age groups showed an increased incidence of ACL tears over the past 20 years, but among males, only the 15- to 16-year-olds had a significant rise.
"We hope these findings will help foster discussion both about how changes in pediatric athletic participation over the past 20 years may be impacting injury rates and how we can best develop youth injury prevention programs and athletic participation guidelines," said Dr. Marc A. Tompkins, an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Minnesota. "The data would suggest, for example, that all female athletes and males in the 15-16 year ages would be good candidates for injury prevention programs."
The study will be presented at the 2015 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition in Washington, D.C.
Girls and boys alike rank trying your best and working hard as key to having fun; winning ranked 40th in importance
Research finds that parents of young skiers and snowboarders should be concerned about head injuries, including skull and facial fractures
Watching television and mobile phone usage elevating sugar and caffeine consumption among teens, study says
University of Colorado study says adolescents who play contact sports like football are no more likely to experience impaired cognitive ability than their peers in early adulthood