According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about two million Americans visit emergency rooms (ERs) with a sports injury in any given year. Plus, approximately six to eight million more people experience milder injuries while exercising or playing sports.

Certain sports tend to cause the most injuries. Let’s talk about what they are and what type of doctor can best help an injured athlete.

Sports With the Most Orthopedic Injuries

Experts have determined a ranking of the top activities that cause the most injuries:

1. Basketball

Every year, more than half a million basketball players, both professional and amateur, are treated for sports injuries across the country. Among the most common injuries related to basketball are torn knee ligaments, ankle sprains, stress fractures in the lower leg or ankle, and finger fractures.

2. Cycling

Bicycling injuries happen in activities such as road biking, mountain biking, or BMX (bike motocross). About 70 percent of these injuries occur in men.

Cycling also causes about half a million injuries yearly, and about 100,000 of these result in hospitalization or surgery. Common injuries for cyclists include broken wrists and strained backs.

3. Football

Football causes injuries mostly among teenagers from age 12 to 18, although football injuries can happen at all ages.

Overuse-type injuries are among the most common in football, which is when players push beyond their training and performance limits. Concussions (or head trauma) and knee injuries are also among the most frequent football injuries.

4. Baseball and Softball

Baseball and softball tend to cause ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries and ankle ligament sprains. Pitching may be the most common baseball activity that causes repeated overuse injuries to the shoulder and elbow.

5. Extreme Sports

Extreme sports are high-risk sports activities that usually involve extreme height, speed, and/or exertion. Examples of these sports include freestyle climbing, extreme skiing, and hang gliding.

These sports are usually practiced in remote areas, far from immediate emergency care. Because athletes involved in extreme sports have minimal access to medical services, these activities tend to cause serious injury or death.

Acute Injuries vs. Chronic Injuries

There are two kinds of sports injuries, and they have to do with the severity and cause of the injury:

Acute Injuries

The most frequent types of injuries that occur while playing sports or exercising include:

  • Knee injury
  • Sprained ankle
  • Achilles tendon injury
  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Strained back
  • Broken bones

Chronic Injuries

These injuries happen after you play a sport or exercise for an extended period of time. These overuse injuries are caused by repetitive use of a part of the body and lack of proper technique. They include conditions such as tendonitis.

Orthopedic Surgeon in Panama City

Dr. James Talkington of Florida Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics is a fellowship-trained sports medicine physician offering treatment for injuries of the shoulders, elbows, knees, feet, ankles, and beyond. Harnessing the latest techniques and technologies, he and his staff will identify the root cause of your pain and put you on the path to healing.

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