A comparison of medical encounters of older and younger athletes participating at major games

Mark Brown, Peter R J Reaburn, Maria Constantinou

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Objective: To identify and compare medical encounter data of older and younger athletes competing in similar events.
Methods: Medical encounters for athletes competing in four team sports (Basketball, Football, Hockey, and Netball) were recorded at the 2015 Australian University Games (AUG) and the 2016 Pan Pacific Masters Games (PPMG) using the same standardised medical encounter surveillance system. The de-identified encounter data was compared for injury types and rates between both groups and between the individual sports for each group.
Results: For the four sports a total of 1,756 medical encounters were recorded at PPMG and 1,650 at the AUG. Of those 81.04% were medical encounters for lower limb injuries at the PPMG and 72.73% at the AUG. Injuries to ligaments, muscles and tendons accounted for 75.11% of all encounters at the PPMG and 68.97% at AUG. Skin wounds were the next most common presentation at both events (PPMG 6.49%, AUG 11.15%), followed by fractures/dislocations (PPMG 1.94%, AUG 4.97%). There was a higher rate of muscle/tendon injuries at PPMG compared to AUG across all 4 sports (PPMG 36.31%, 29.31% AUG). The higher rate of encounters for muscle/tendon injuries at the PPMG was most evident for
Football (PPMG 42.81%, AUG 27.27%).
Conclusion: Medical encounter data collected at both the PPMG and AUG demonstrated a higher percentage of lower limb musculoskeletal injuries in older compared to younger athletes participating in similar events. Also, older athletes sought attention for a higher percentage of muscle and tendon injuries compared to younger athletes. Clinical implications: Injury prevention programs for older athletes should target the lower limb, and give particular attention to preventative strategies for muscle and tendon injuries. For planning purposes event medical program organisers should be aware of the likely differences in medical encounters between older and younger athletes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
EventThird World Congress of Sports Physical Therapy - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 4 Oct 20195 Oct 2019
Conference number: 3rd


ConferenceThird World Congress of Sports Physical Therapy
Internet address


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