The purpose of this study was first, to identify the health costs of knee surgery related to different sports (football, floor ball, European team handball and ice hockey) among players at competitive level in Stockholm 1997. Information was retrieved from three different databases, one containing information on all players in different sports, another one containing information on all surgery performed at S:t Gorans Hospital, Stockholm, and a third one containing information on all surgery performed in Stockholm. The National Registration Number (NRN) was used to identify the patients. The NRN is a unique personal identifier assigned to all Swedish residents, which allows linkage between different registers and databases. In Stockholm in 1997, 6781 surgical procedures related to the knee were performed at a cost of SEK (Swedish Crowns) 39,026,657. On players in all studied sports, 762 knee surgical procedures were performed on 657 patients in Stockholm at a cost of SEK 4,884,076. At S:t Gorans Hospital, 319 knee surgical procedures were performed on 288 patients, and 293 (92%) of these were directly related to sport participation. It was also found that only 74% of anterior cruciate ligament injuries that resulted in a surgical intervention were reported to the insurance company.
Conclusion: The average cost for knee surgery in the studied sports was low. Knee surgery costs for European team handball players were the highest compared with other sports studied.