Sports participation is on the rise for children and adolescents in the United States. Each year, more than 20 million American youth participate in school or community sports. This results in approximately one million serious sports-related injuries occurring annually, requiring hospitalization, surgery, missed school, or at least half a day in bed. The social and economic consequences related to sports injury incidents are substantial, and are estimated to cost thousands of millions of dollars in the U.S. each year.
It is estimated that sports-related injuries account for 41 percent of musculoskeletal injury treated in emergency rooms in 5- to 21-year-olds. These injuries include:
Overuse injuries that are a consequence of competitive year-round participation and specialization in one sport. Types include:
Spinal Cord Injuries:
The Center was originally chartered to focus on sport injury prevention, and it continues to conduct research and educational programs to address how youth and adolescents can enjoy lifelong optimal health by avoiding sport-related injuries during their formative years.
Jim Betts was a standout safety for the Michigan Wolverines in the late '60s, taking and dishing bone-jarring hits every day throughout the fall season and spring drills. However, it was during a pick-up basketball game in the intramural building that he tore his medial meniscus. That injury continues to cause problems today.