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Concussions, sprains reportedly increase in Texas HS sports

January 14, 2015 / Sports Medicine & Nutrition
Texas high schools reported increases in concussions and sprains during the 2013-14 school year, according to a report released by the state’s University Interscholastic League.

KPRC in Houston obtained a copy of the report, which revealed sprains as the most common injury last year. Bruises, concussions, fractures and dislocations rounded out the top five.

The report indicated the injuries were up in nearly every category, but that doesn’t necessarily mean more athletes are getting hurt. It’s actually more likely that a greater number of schools — not to mention coaches and athletes — are reporting their numbers.

Here are the findings, according to the article:

• Sprains: More than 1,800 were reported during the 2013-14 school year, up from around 1,100 the previous year.

• Bruises: 558, up from 358

• Concussions: 533, up from 322

• Fractures: 305, up from 212

• Dislocations and other injuries: Combined 480 during 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years.

I don’t know what to think of reported bruises. I doubt many athletes bother to tell their coaches about bruises, so I wouldn’t put much weight into year-to-year fluctuations.

I’m inclined to think all of these numbers are meaningless, and here’s why. Texas has more high school student-athletes than any state in the country — more than 805,000 according to the NFHS. Indiana, which has just 152,383 student-athletes, reported more than 1,200 concussions last year to Texas’ 533. Something’s not right.

These numbers are difficult, if not impossible, to accurately track. Even if you implemented mandatory reporting procedures, athletes would continue to hide their symptoms out of fear of being removed from the game.

 


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