Sport and recreation injuries are a significant health problem in Canada, and leading cause of injury requiring medical attention among adolescents. Sport injuries account for approximately 50% of all injury to secondary school students, with the medically treated injury rate for high school (HS) (ages 14-18) and junior high school (JHS) students (ages 11-14) being 40 and 30 injuries/100 students/year respectively. The majority of these are lower extremity injuries, with ankle and knee injuries accounting for 35-40%. Knee and ankle injuries result in an increased risk of early development of osteoarthritis (OA), with a significant associated public health cost. Biomechanical, cohort and RCT intervention studies have identified sport-specific risk factors among youth. The effectiveness of neuromuscular training strategies in reducing acute and lower extremity injuries has been demonstrated among HS physical education (PE) participants, HS basketball players and youth community soccer players. A sport injury surveillance program has recently been developed and validated as a flexible web-based wide-area system. Based on these and other successful sport-specific neuromuscular interventions, it is critical to maximize the impact of such interventions through a proposed injury prevention community “clinic” model that will benefit the broader youth population. Identification of high risk sport participants through a musculoskeletal screening examination would facilitate additional individually targeted prevention strategies.
The CIHR Team in Child and Youth Injury Prevention (STAIR C&Y Team) is a unique collaboration of interdisciplinary researchers and partners who have a common purpose—to generate new knowledge for stakeholders who develop and deliver policy and programs, and advocate for children and youth in Canada.