Analysis of Injury Rates and Treatment Patterns for Time-Loss and Non-Time-Loss Injuries Among Collegiate Student-Athletes

J Athl Train. 2004 Mar;39(1):56-70.


OBJECTIVE: To compare the injury rates for time-loss and non-time-loss injuries among selected intercollegiate athletic programs and to describe the number of treatments associated with these injuries. DESIGN AND SETTING: A volunteer, cross-sectional cohort study of 50 collegiate athletic programs representing the 3 National Collegiate Athletic Association divisions, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and the National Junior College Athletic Association during the 2000-2002 academic years. SUBJECTS: Individuals listed on the team rosters for the participating institutions and representing the sports associated with the institution's athletic programs. MEASUREMENTS: The athletic training staff and students recorded the injury and treatment data for the participating institutions. The data included information for time-loss and non- time-loss injuries, daily treatments, and daily athlete-exposures. RESULTS: Non-time-loss injury rates were 3.5 (confidence interval = 3.4, 3.6) times the time-loss rate for men and 5.1 (confidence interval = 4.9, 5.2) times the time-loss rate for women. Non-time-loss injuries required more treatments over the course of the year than did time-loss injuries. For men's sports, 22% of the injuries resulted in loss of participation time, with 47% of the treatments associated with these injuries. For women's sports, 16% of the injuries and 34% of the treatments were associated with time-loss injuries. CONCLUSIONS: Throughout the sports medicine year, athletic training staff and students spent more time delivering treatments to athletes who were not missing participation time than to athletes who were missing time. A noteworthy difference in the workforce available to provide health care among the various levels of intercollegiate athletics may contribute to the frequency of injury and treatments reported.