High School Athletic Trainer Services for Knee injuries

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© by the National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc. Context: Participation in high school athletics carries a substantial risk of musculoskeletal injury, particularly to the knee. However, limited information is available on the care being provided by athletic trainers (ATs) for athletes with these injuries. Design: Descriptive epidemiology study. Setting: Data on athletic training facility visits and AT services were collected from 147 high schools in 26 states. Patients or Other Participants: High school studentathletes who participated in 13 boys' sports and 14 girls' sports and sustained a diagnosed knee injury during the 2011-2012 through 2013-2014 academic years. The ATs documented 6797 knee injuries, with 4242 sustained in boys' sports and 2555 sustained in girls' sports. Main Outcome Measure(s): The number of athletic training facility visits and individual AT services as well as the average, median, and interquartile range of athletic training facility visits (per injury) and AT services (per injury) were calculated by sport and for time-loss (TL; participation restricted for ≥24 hours) and non- time-loss (NTL; participation restricted for <24 >hours) injuries. Results: In total, 28 788 athletic training facility visits were reported, with an overall average of 4 athletic training facility visits per knee injury over the 3-year period. Most athletic training facility visits (72.6%) were associated with NTL injuries, but the majority of AT services (68.6%) were associated with TL injuries. A total of 81 245 AT services were provided for all knee injuries. Therapeutic activities or exercise were the most common type of AT service (52.5%). Overall, an average of 12 AT services were reported per knee injury. Compared with NTL injuries, TL injuries had a larger average number of AT services per injury (34 versus 9; P < .001). Conclusions: Knee injuries at the high school level are a considerable health care burden. This report demonstrates a high proportion of AT attention to the evaluation and treatment of these injuries. This study confirms the recommended management of knee injuries, with neuromuscular and therapeutic activities being the primary services after knee injury.