Epidemiology of Chest, Rib, Thoracic Spine, and Abdomen Injuries Among United States High School Athletes, 2005/06 to 2013/14.

The objective of this study was to describe chest and abdominal injury epidemiology among US high school athletes.


Retrospective analysis of longitudinal surveillance data.


Injury data from 2005/06 to 2013/14 academic years were collected using an internet-based surveillance system.


A large sample of US high schools.


Injuries sustained as a function of sport.


Chest, rib, thoracic spine, and abdominal injuries sustained during high school athletic events.


Overall 1487 chest, rib, thoracic spine, and abdominal injuries occurred during 30 415 179 athletic exposures (AEs); an injury rate of 4.9 injuries per 100 000 AEs. Over half (56.8%) of injured athletes were evaluated by another medical provider in addition to the athletic trainer, and 34 injuries (2.3%) required surgery. Diagnostic techniques, including x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography were used in 729 (49.0%) injuries. The injury rate was higher in boys’ (6.8) than girls’ (2.0) sports [rate ratio (RR), 3.43; 95% CI, 3.04-4.10]. Football (47.7%) accounted for the highest proportion of injuries followed by wrestling (18.5%), boys’ soccer (4.6%), and girls’ soccer (3.7%). The rate of injury was higher in competition than practice, (RR, 2.86; 95% CI, 2.59-3.23). Only 57.7% of injured athletes were able to return to play within 1 week.


Chest and abdominal injuries in high school sports although relatively rare, can result in loss of playing time and frequently prompt medical evaluation. Thus, they present a physical and economic burden. To optimize prevention, further studies can focus on subgroup risk factor identification to drive development of targeted prevention strategies


Clin J Sport Med. 2016 Jul 15. [Epub ahead of print] Epidemiology of Chest, Rib, Thoracic Spine, and Abdomen Injuries Among United States High School Athletes, 2005/06 to 2013/14. Johnson BK1, Comstock RD. 1*Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora, Colorado;†Section of Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado;‡Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, Colorado; and§Pediatric Injury Prevention, Education, and Research (PIPER) Program, Aurora, Colorado.


‘It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us in trouble. It’s the things we know that ain’t so’
– Artemus Ward