Common Sports Injuries: Incidence and Average Charges. Injuries by Sport

03/17/2014

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), more than 1.9 million individuals had a sports-related injury that was treated in emergency departments in 2012. By sport, there were:

  • Nearly 570,000 basketball injuries were treated in emergency departments nationwide, including over 8,000 that resulted in hospitalization.
    • 93 percent of injuries were among men.
  • Nearly 557,000 bicycling injuries were treated in emergency departments nationwide including over 42,000 that resulted in hospitalization.
    • 71 percent of injuries were among men.
  • More than 466,000 football injuries were treated in emergency departments nationwide, including about 10,000 that resulted in hospitalization.
    • 88 percent of injuries were among men.
  • More than 265,000 baseball and softball injuries were treated in emergency departments nationwide, including over 4,500 that resulted in hospitalization.
    • 73 percent of injuries were among men.
  • More than 231,000 soccer injuries were treated in emergency departments nationwide, including over 5,000 that resulted in hospitalization.
    • 83 percent of injuries were among men.

Figure1: Number of injuries among individuals 25 to 40 years and by gender

Source: ASPE computations from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for 2012


Estimated rate of sports-related injuries among individuals above the age of 25 is:

  • Bicycling – 126.5 per 100,000 individuals
  • Basketball – 61.2 per 100,000 individuals
  • Baseball and softball – 41.3 per 100,000 individuals
  • Football – 25.2 per 100,000 individuals
  • Soccer – 23.8 per 100,000 individuals
  • Sports-related injuries make up about 20 percent of all injury-related emergency department visits among children age 6 to 19.2
  • An estimated 12 million individuals between the ages of 5 and 22 years suffer a sportrelated injury annually, which leads to 20 million lost days of school3 and approximately $33 billion in health care costs.4
  • In youth basketball, almost 12 percent of girls seen in the emergency department were diagnosed with concussions compared to 7 percent of boys.
  • In youth soccer, 17 percent of girls seen in the emergency department were diagnosed with a concussion compared to 12 percent of boys.2

2 “Game Changers: Stats, Stories and What Communities Are Doing to Protect Young Athletes.” Safe Kids Worldwide; August 2013. Available at: https://www.safekids.org/system/files/documents/ResearchReports/g... _stats_stories_and_what_communites_are_doing_to_protect_young_athletes.pdf

3 Janda D, The Awakening of a Surgeon: A Family Guide to Preventing Sports Injuries and Death,The Institute for Preventative Sports Medicine, 2004, p. 208.

4 “Summer sports top injury list,” Orthopedics Today, 2002; 22(6):13

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