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Sports Medicine Feature

Source: Wikimedia Commons and Max Talbot-Minkin from USA

Injury Risk Different Between Intercollegiate/Intramural Sports

Tracey Romero • Fri, December 22nd, 2017

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In a recent study, “Epidemiology of Posterior Glenohumeral Instability in a Young Athletic Population,” published in the December, 2017 issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers found that intercollegiate athletes are more at risk for posterior glenohumeral instability than intramural athletes.

For this longitudinal cohort study, athletes at the United States Military Academy were followed for a six-year period from 2006 to 2012 using the Cadet Illness and Injury Tracking System. The primary endpoints were the incidence rates of posterior glenohumeral joint instability per 1,000 person-years at risk and per 1,000 athlete-exposures.

According to the data, there were a total of 1,348 shoulder injuries with 633 instability events. Of those instability events, there were 113 posterior shoulder instability injuries. In addition, 26,408 person-years at risk were recorded for an incidence rate (IR) of 4.28 per 1,000 person-years. The overall IR of posterior instability was 0.08 per 1,000 athlete exposures. Interestingly, female athletes experienced fewer posterior instability events than their male counterparts.

Intercollegiate wrestlers were the athletes at most risk for posterior glenohumeral instability with the highest IR of 34.15 per 1,000 person-years. In the intramural sports, football had the highest injury rate with an IR of 2.79 per 1,000 person-years. Seventy-seven percent of the 113 posterior shoulder instability injuries needed surgery. All the instability events that were associated with weight-lifting required surgery to stabilize the shoulder.

In addition, the researchers wrote that “intercollegiate athletes and weight lifters demonstrate a high likelihood of requiring surgical treatment as compared with intramural athletes.”

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