The epidemiology of knee injuries in children and adolescents
- 749 Downloads
Injuries in childhood and adolescence are frequent and the knee is one of the most common sites of injuries. This study aimed to analyze the epidemiology, gender distribution, age, and circumstances of knee injuries in childhood at a Level I Trauma Center in Austria.
All pediatric and adolescent trauma patients who presented in a 2-year period were recorded. Children managed with knee injuries were selected prospectively. Patients were divided into five age groups: infants (younger than 1 year); pre-school aged children (1–6 years); pre-pubertal school-aged children (7–10 years); early adolescent patients (11–14 years); and late adolescent patients (15–18 years). Five diagnosis-related groups were formed: extraarticular soft tissue injuries, intraarticular soft tissue injuries, patella disorders, fractures, and overload injuries.
The study included 23,832 patients up to the age of 18 years, who presented with 1,199 knee injuries. There was a male predominance (m:f = 58,6%:41.4%). Boys had a lower mean age at presentation (11.9 years) as girls (12.3 years). The most common accident sites were outdoors (34.8%) and sports facilities (32.8%). Leading injury mechanisms were falls on level surfaces (58.1%) and traffic accidents (13.4%). The number of knee injuries and its severity increased with age. Knee injuries did not occur in infants. In general, extraarticular soft-tissue injuries were most common and fractures were rare.
Knee injuries in children and adolescents are rare and extraarticular soft-tissue injury is the most frequent type of knee trauma. The number of knee injuries and its severity increases with age with a male predominance. Sports facilities and traffic injuries are important scenes of knee trauma. Mechanisms and patterns evaluated in this study can serve as the basis for knee-injury prevention efforts in children and adolescents and may be used for necessary precautions.
Level of evidence: IV
KeywordsKnee Injury Epidemiology Child Adolescent Trauma
The authors would like to acknowledge the Austrian Committee for Injury Prevention in Childhood, Safe Kids Austria (Grosse Schuetzen Kleine) for its valuable support.
- 1.Center for Disease Control. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. http://webapp.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/leadcause10.html
- 7.Hochberg MCL-CM (1997) Epidemiologic considerations in the primary prevention of osteoarthritis. Johns Hopkins Univ Pr, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
- 10.Cohen E, Sala DA (2010) Rehabilitation of pediatric musculoskeletal sport-related injuries: a review of the literature. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 46(2):133–145Google Scholar
- 23.Ellsäßer G, Diepgen TL (2002) Epidemiologische analyse von Sturzunfällen im Kindesalter (<15 Jahre). Konsequenzen für die Prävention. Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz 45(3):267–276Google Scholar
- 26.Espenschade A (1940) Motor performance in adolescence including the study of relationships with measures of physical growth and maturity. In: Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development. Society for Research in Child Development, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
- 27.Jones H (1949) Motor performance and growth: a developmental study of staticdynamometric strength. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
- 32.Watson S (2010) Why is puberty coming earlier for girls today. Discovery Communications Inc, Silver Spring. http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/earlier-girls-puberty.html
- 34.Stang J, Story M (2005) Adolescent growth and development. In: Stang J, Story M (eds) Guidelines for Adolescent Nutrition ServicesGoogle Scholar
- 35.Prevention CfDCa (2006) Sports-related injuries among high school athletes: United States, 2005–06 school year. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 55(38):1037–1040Google Scholar
- 46.Alsaker FD (1995) Timing of puberty and reactions to pubertal changes. In: Rutter M (ed) Psychosocial disturbances in young people—challenges for prevention. Cambride University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- 47.Baumrind D (1987) A developmental perspective on adolescent risk taking in contemporary America. New Dir Child Dev (37):93–125Google Scholar
- 48.DiClemente R, Hansen WB, Ponton LE (1996) Handbook of adolescent health risk behavior. Plenum Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 50.Campaign NSK (2004) Sports injury fact sheet. NSKC, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar