Mar 31, 2022
Study: Athletes at Higher Risk of Injury Post-Pandemic

Athletes returning to competition in their first season after the COVID-19 pandemic were at higher risk for noncontact and overuse injury, according to at least one presenter from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting.

Shannon Y. Wu, MD, and her colleagues from UCLA found a rise in the overall proportion of injuries sustained during the final 25% of competition (28.5% vs. 25.9%) as well as a rise in the overall proportion of non-contact injuries (46.1% vs. 39.8%) in the post-pandemic season, as outlined in a report from

post-pandemicTo compare sports-related injuries before and after COVID-19, Wu and her colleagues analyzed 12,319 sports-related injuries across 23 Pac-12 collegiate sports from January 2019 to June 2021.

The researchers analyzed the timing of injury onset, the severity of injury, rate of procedural intervention, injury mechanism, and the likelihood of injury during the final 25% of competition. According to the abstract, an injury was defined as overuse if the symptom onset occurred more than 24 hours after the incident.

Multivariate analysis revealed higher overall rates of noncontact and overuse injuries during the post-pandemic season. These findings were replicated when stratifying for knee and shoulder injuries. Wu also noted female gender was “significantly” associated with overuse injury, noncontact injury, season-ending injury, and decreased likelihood of procedural intervention.

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“Health professionals taking care of these athletes should be aware that there may not be a one-size-fits-all recommendation for ramping up to competition,” Wu said. “Rather, recommendations need to be made on a sport-specific, team-specific, or athlete-specific basis.”

To read the full story from about athletes being at great risk in a post-pandemic setting, click here. 

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