Background Sport participation is the leading cause of injury in youth. Female youth are underrepresented in the sport injury literature and present with a different injury profile than males.
Objective To investigate sport-related injury rates, types, locations and mechanisms in female youth team sports.
Design Secondary analysis of a cross-sectional study.
Setting High schools in Alberta, Canada.
Participants Female students who reported playing one of the top ten team sports for participation (i.e., baseball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball, football, rugby, ringette, field hockey, ice hockey).
Assessment of Risk Factors
A 45-minute survey included questions regarding demographic information, sport participation, and one-year injury and concussion history.
Main Outcome Measurements Self-reported injuries sustained in the past year.
Results 51.7% (1048/2029) of high school students completing the survey were female and 481/1048 (45.9%) reported playing at least one team sport. Of these, 51.4% reported at least one sport-related injury and 8.9% at least one concussion in the past year. Injury rate based on ‘most serious injury’ reported was highest in ringette (42.9 injuries/100 students/year) and rugby (40.0). The top three most serious injury locations were the knee (24.7%), ankle (21.6%) and head (16.1%). The most common injury types were joint or ligament sprain (26.7%), fracture (13.0%) and concussion (11.8%). Based on all serious injuries reported in female team sports, 73.4% occurred via contact mechanisms (with someone or something). Overuse (16.2%) was the next most common mechanism reported. Of participants that reported concussion as their most serious injury, 100% were attributed to contact mechanisms (38.9% contact with someone; 61.1% contact with something).
Conclusions Team sport injury rates are high in female high school students. Specific consideration of contact injury mechanisms in female youth team sports will inform development and evaluation of targeted female contact and sport-specific prevention strategies.
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