Trends in sports injuries, 1982-1988: an in-depth study on four types of sport

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1992 Jun;32(2):214-20.


In this study, we analyzed the records of both inpatients and outpatients which were treated for acute sports injuries in the Trauma Department of the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) during the years 1982 to 1988. We examined whether there was a trend in sports injuries in this time period. The study comprised four types of sports, i.e., soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, and martial arts. The absolutely highest rates of injuries across the seven years were found in soccer, followed by gymnastics, volleyball, and martial arts. Injuries sustained at participating in soccer, volleyball, and gymnastics involved for the major part the lower extremities, followed by injuries of the upper extremities, whereas the reverse pattern was observed for patients who participated in martial arts. For all four types of sport, the ankle and foot were the most frequently site of injury of the lower extremities. Sprains and strains were the major types of injury. Most injuries were seen at ages between 10 and 30 years. The ratio of male to female patients within age groups did not differ significantly across the seven years. We concluded that, except for martial arts, the increased participation in sports in the last decade was not accompanied with a change in the patterns of sports injuries by the patients' age, sex, and number and nature of the injury. This consistency in results can be used to guide the development of prevention programs aimed at a reduction of injuries in specific sports.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Female
  • Gymnastics / injuries
  • Humans
  • Leg Injuries / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Martial Arts / injuries
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Soccer / injuries
  • Sprains and Strains / epidemiology