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Sports-related acute shoulder injuries in an urban population
  1. Martine Enger1,2,
  2. Stein Arve Skjaker1,
  3. Lars Nordsletten1,2,
  4. Are Hugo Pripp3,
  5. Knut Melhuus1,
  6. Stefan Moosmayer4,
  7. Jens Ivar Brox2,5
  1. 1 Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
  2. 2 Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  3. 3 Oslo Centre of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
  4. 4 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Martina Hansens Hospital, Baerum, Norway
  5. 5 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Dr Martine Enger; uxrten{at}


Objectives More than a third of sports injuries involve the upper extremity. The primary aim was to quantify and describe sports-related shoulder injuries in a general population cohort. A secondary aim was to compare aspects of these injuries to those that were not sports-related.

Methods We performed a prospective registration of the activity at the time of shoulder injury in all cases admitted during 1 year in a combined primary care and orthopaedic emergency department serving a defined population. The electronic patient records and patient reported questionnaires were reviewed.

Results Twenty-nine per cent (n=781) of 2650 registered shoulder injuries were reported to be sports-related, with the highest proportion in acromioclavicular injuries (>50%). Patients with sports injuries were younger than those injured during other activities (median age 28 and 43 years, respectively, p<0.001), and more often male (78% and 52%, respectively, p<0.001). There was a strong gender disparity in incidence of sports-related shoulder injuries in adolescents and young adults, which was not observed in non-sports shoulder injuries. Football (soccer) (6–29 years), cycling (30–49 years), skiing (50–69 years) and martial arts were the dominating sports activities. Fractures were more common in skiing and cycling than in other major sports in the study.

Conclusions Almost a third of the shoulder injuries occurred during sports. The types of sports involved varied with age and gender. The comparison of sport to non-sport shoulder injury incidence rates suggests that the increased risk of shoulder injuries in young males is mainly attributable to sports injuries.

  • shoulder
  • sports
  • injury
  • epidemiology
  • gender

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  • Contributors ME, SAS, LN, KM and JIB developed and designed the study. ME and SAS collected the data. ME and AHP conducted the statistical analysis. ME wrote the first and final draft of the manuscript. SAS, AHP and KM participated in the revision of the manuscript. LN and SM participated in the interpretation and revision of the first and final version of the manuscript. JIB supervised the study, participated in analysis, interpretation, and helped to draft and revise the manuscript.

  • Funding The study was supported by Sophies Minde Ortopedi AS, which is a subsidiary company of Oslo University Hospital. The company had no role in the study or writing process.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement statement We did not directly include PPI in the design, recruitment, or execution of this study.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval In accordance with Norwegian legislation, the Office of the Privacy and Data Protection Officer of Oslo University Hospital approved the study as an internal audit Project with anonymous data on 17 February 2013 which is exempt from the obligation to report to the Data Inspectorate and Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics. The study was also registered With the Institutional Board as an internal audit Project.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request to the main author when permitted by the Office of the Privacy and Data Protection Officer of Oslo University Hospital.

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