A longitudinal study of injuries to athletes with disabilities

Int J Sports Med. 2000 Apr;21(3):221-4. doi: 10.1055/s-2000-300.


This study investigated the number and type of injuries that occurred to athletes with disabilities from 1990-1996. The subjects were U.S. athletes who participated in the 1990 World Games and Championships, 1991 U.S. Paralympic Trials, 1992 Paralympic Games, the 1994 World Athletics Championship, and the 1996 Paralympic Games. A reportable injury was defined as an injury/illness that was evaluated by the U.S. Medical Staff during these competitions. Illnesses (29.8%) were the most commonly reported problem followed by muscular strains (22.1%). The most commonly injured body locations were the thorax/spine at 13.3%, the shoulder complex at 12.8%, the lower leg/ankle and toes at 12.0%. The majority of these injuries were musculoskeletal to include strains at 22.1%, sprains at 5.8%, contusion at 5.6%, and abrasions at 5.1%. An area of concern was the high number of strains to the thorax and spine when compared to other body locations and injury types. Attention should be paid to the musculature of the thorax/spine, shoulder and hip/thigh to help reduce the number of the injuries in this region.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Joints / injuries
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Medical Records
  • Spinal Injuries / epidemiology
  • Sports / statistics & numerical data*
  • Thoracic Injuries / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology