Sports accidents and sports injuries are responsible for a significant portion of all hospital and emergency room visits each year. Sports injuries affect all persons, both young and old. However, sports injuries can vary in profile depending on the type of sport, the person’s gender, and the person’s age. What follows below are some statistics on sports accidents, compiled from various sources.

General Sports Statistics

  • Sports injuries can include various strains, sprains, muscle tears, broken bones, bruises, being elbowed in the face, serious head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and overexertion
  • Up to 85% of bicycling-related injuries may be prevented through the use of proper helmet and headgear
  • Injuries by type of Sport, estimated number of injuries per year:
    o    Basketball: 529,000
    o    Bicycling: 490,000
    o    Football: 460,000
    o    Mopeds, minibikes, and ATVs: 275,000
    o    Baseball/softball: 274,000

Injuries by Body Part

The following statistics were compiled from the Sports Medicine Media Guide and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS):

  • AC Joint (acromioclavicular joint, which is near the shoulder): AC Joint injuries resulted in around 95,000 physician visits in 2008
  • Ankle Sprain: Nearly 25,000 ankle sprains occur in the U.S. each day, whether or not related to sports
  • ACL: Nearly 150,000 ACL injuries annually; female basketball and soccer athletes are 2-8 more likely than average to suffer an ACL injury
  • Articular Cartilage: Responsible for defects in knees of up 36% of all athletes
  • Concussions: American emergency rooms treat approximately 135,000 sports-related concussions and brain injuries for young people between the ages of 5 to 18
  • Heat Illness: Around 175-200 Americans die each year due to heat stroke
  • Meniscal Tear (knee): Meniscal tears affect about 61 out of every 100,000 people in the U.S. each year
  • Overuse: Overuse injuries affect around 3.5 million children each year; half of all middle and high school injuries are due to over use
  • Rotator Cuff: Up to 40% of individuals experience rotator cuff injuries, and risk increase dramatically as age increases
  • Shoulder Dislocation or Instability: 70,000 cases of shoulder dislocations are recorded every year
  • SLAP Tears (a type of shoulder injury): Repair surgery for SLAP tears has only 33-66% chance of the athlete returning to performance, and 40% of military personnel have had SLAP tears at one point
  • Steroid-Related Injuries: Up to 4 million American teens and children are using anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing drugs, which makes injuries difficult to document due to the illegal nature of such practices
  • Stress Fractures: Fracture rates for athletes ranges from 5-30% depending on the sport, and children may be at greater risk due to less bone density and strength because their bones are not fully developed
  • Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD): SCD may be as high as 1 in every 75,000 athletes per year in high school and college

Seeking Legal Help

Americans spend many millions of dollars each year on medical care, rehab, therapy, and lawsuits from sports accidents. You may wish to hire a personal injury attorney if you need legal advice on how to file a claim for a sports injury. Your lawyer can provide you with legal information and guidance during the process. If you need to file a lawsuit, your lawyer can represent you in court during hearings and other meetings.