Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 448–454 | Cite as

The epidemiology of sports-related injuries in older adults: a central European epidemiologic study

  • Christian Kammerlander
  • Matthias Braito
  • Stephen Kates
  • Christian Jeske
  • Tobias Roth
  • Michael Blauth
  • Christian DallapozzaEmail author
Original Article


Background and aims: The population is rapidly aging and remaining more active over the age of 65. An increasing number of sports related injuries in individuals 65 and older are thus anticipated. The aim of this study is to analyze the epidemiology of sports injuries in the age group aged 65 and older. Methods: Data from the medical records of adults aged 65 years and older who were treated for sports-related injuries at a level one trauma center between December 1994 and February 2008 was collected and statistically analyzed. Results: A total of 2635 patients met our inclusion criteria. There were 1647 men (62.5%) and 988 women (37.5%) with a mean age of 70.9 years. The yearly number of injuries doubled during the study period (1996–2007). The most common mechanism of injury was a simple fall from standing height (69%). Nearly 75% of all injuries occurred during alpine skiing, cycling or mountain climbing. The median Injury Severity Score was 4. Minor injuries and wounds (40%) were recorded most commonly followed by fractures (27%), sprains, ligament injuries (19%) and injuries of muscles and tendons (6%). The most frequent diagnoses were minor injuries to the head and ligament injuries around the knee joint. Injuries to the upper extremities occurred in 33.7%, injuries to the lower extremities in 29.4% and injuries to the head occurred in 20% of the patients. Women sustained substantially more fractures than men. Conclusion: Adults aged 65 and older are remaining active in sports, which results in higher numbers of sports related injuries in this age group. Identification of type, mechanism and distribution of the injuries can help with the recognition of risk factors for injury. This may enable us to develop appropriate preventative measures to reduce the incidence, and morbidity of such injuries.

Key words

Sports injuries epidemiology elderly fracture athletic injury geriatric trauma 


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Copyright information

© Springer Internal Publishing Switzerland 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Kammerlander
    • 1
  • Matthias Braito
    • 1
  • Stephen Kates
    • 2
  • Christian Jeske
    • 1
  • Tobias Roth
    • 1
  • Michael Blauth
    • 1
  • Christian Dallapozza
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Trauma Surgery and SportsmedicineMedical University of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedics and RehabilitationUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA

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