Introduction: This study investigated the sport-related ankle injuries attending an accident and emergency (A&E) department during a 1-year period.
Methods: A total of 1715 sports injuries cases attending an A&E department from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2005 were prospectively recorded. Details of each classified case were recorded in a computerised record system by the triage nurse. At the end of the study period, all sport-related ankle injury cases were analysed.
Results: A total of 240 sport-related ankle injury cases were reported. Most cases were sustained from basketball (32.9%), soccer (31.7%) and hiking (5.8%) sports. The majority of the cases was ligamentous sprains (81.3%) and fractures (10.4%). The mean age of all patients was 24.6 years (S.D. = 12.3). Four fifths (80.4%) were male patients. All cases were not life threatening. Most cases (99.2%) were referred to orthopedics specialty. Radiography was routinely employed in 99.2% of the cases. Ligamentous sprains were mostly sustained in basketball (37.4%) and soccer (28.7%), and were often treated with bandaging (60.0%) and analgesics (48.7%). Most cases were discharged with or without referral to physiotherapy and specialty clinic (95.4%). Fractures were mostly sustained in soccer (52.0%), basketball (20.0%) and hiking (16.0%), and were very often admitted to hospital wards (84.0%). The estimated A&E attendance rate for all sports injuries, ankle injuries, ligamentous sprains and fractures were 1.68, 0.24, 0.19 and 0.02/1000 person-year.
Conclusions: The results of this study together with the previous study on ankle sprain epidemiology suggested the following sports ankle injury pattern in Hong Kong-major and serious ankle ligamentous sprains and fractures were sustained from basketball, soccer and hiking, leading to A&E attendance, while minor sprains were sustained in running and jogging and racquet sports. We suggested that the Sports medicine specialists in Hong Kong should emphasise the ankle injury prevention strategies in these sports.