This report analyses Australian hospitalisations data for 2012–13 to provide an insight into the impact of sports injury on 1 part of the Australian health system, and to improve understanding of the types of sport-related injury conditions for which people are admitted to Australian hospitals. In particular, the report focuses on the acute care services provided by hospitals for sports injuries.
Cases of sports injury are examined in terms of the body region injured and the type of injury sustained. Information is presented on the main sporting activities associated with the injuries, the care provided in hospital, the number of days that patients spent in hospital for the acute care for each injury type, and estimated costs of the hospital care.
Ten types of injury are described in some detail. These injuries were selected because they were comparatively frequent and/or were prominent in the sport-related injury literature. Together, the selected injury types account for more than two-thirds of all cases of identifiable hospitalised sport-related injury.
Of the selected injury types, Head injury was the most common, accounting for 16% of all hospitalised sport-related cases. It was associated with the greatest number of days spent in hospital by patients (over 14,000 days in total). The highest proportions of head injuries were sustained while playing rugby or while cycling. The average cost of acute public hospital care for sport-related Head injury was $5,300 per case.
Injury to the knee accounted for 12% of hospitalised sports injury. Acute hospital care for Knee injury accounted for around 9,500 days spent in hospital. Knee injury was most commonly sustained in the course of playing soccer or netball. The average cost of acute public hospital care for sport-related Knee injury was $6,800.
Wrist injury accounted for 13% of hospitalised sports injury, and was associated with around 8,300 days spent in hospital. More than 9 in 10 injuries to the wrist were fractures. Roller sports were the leading cause of Wrist fracture for both males and females. The average cost of acute public hospital care for sport-related Wrist fracture was $4,500.
Injury to the spinal column and cord, although accounting for around 3% of all of the sport-related injury cases, accounted for 7,700 days spent in hospital. The average cost of acute public hospital care for sport-related cases of Injury to the spinal cord was $25,000 for injury at the thoracic-lumbosacral level and $42,800 for injury to the cervical spine.
Preliminary material: Acknowledgments; Abbreviations; Symbols
2 Knee injury
3 Head injury
4 Shoulder injury
5 Ankle injury
6 Hip injury
7 Wrist injury
8 Injury to the spinal column and cord
9 Injury to internal organs
10 Elbow injury
11 Long-bone fractures
12 Cost of hospital care for sports injury
Appendix A: Data issues
Appendix B: Participation-based rates
Appendix C: Additional tables
Appendix D: Further information on coverage of sport-related cruciate ligament injuries
End matter: Glossary; References; List of tables; List of figures; List of boxes; Related publications