Trends in pediatric and adolescent anterior cruciate ligament injuries in Victoria, Australia 2005–2015 Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in children and adolescents have been the focus of recent media attention and parental concern, given their potential for adverse long-term health outcomes and healthcare costs. However, there is limited formal evidence on trends in the incidence of ACL injuries in children. This study utilizes the Victorian Admitted Episodes Dataset (VAED) to characterize epidemiologic trends of hospital-admitted ACL injuries in those aged 5 to 14 years over a period of 10 years from 2005 to 2015. There was a total of 320 cases and the overall annual rate of ACL injuries increased by 147.8% from 2.74 per 100,000 population in 2005/2006 to 6.79 per 100,000 in 2014/2015. The majority (96.9%) of these injuries were in 10- to 14-year-olds. The main in-hospital procedure provided to over 80% of the hospitalized cases involved ACL reconstruction. Sporting activities accounted for 56.6% of ACL injuries. For females, over half (52.4%) of ACL injuries occurred whilst playing ball sports, compared to 35.4% of males. The large increase in ACL injuries in 5- to 14-year-olds in the state of Victoria, Australia over a 10-year period indicates they are a significant and emerging health burden. Population-wide ACL prevention policies are required to halt these trends. Cost effective prevention programs that involve neuromuscular training must be implemented in schools and junior sports teams.

publication date

  • 2017