Epidemiology of Peripheral Nerve Injuries in Sports, Exercise, and Recreation in the United States, 2009 - 2018.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: To assess rates of peripheral nerve injuries (PNI) in sport, exercise, and recreational activities. METHODS: The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) was used to query nerve injuries presenting to emergency departments across the United States. Identified injuries were stratified to those with product codes associated with exercise, sports, or recreation. Injuries only to the upper and lower extremities were included as cranial and spinal cord injuries were excluded. PNI was analyzed by age, sex, sport/recreational activity, race, and evaluated for incidence rates by year and activity. Statistical significance was considered to be P < 0.05. RESULTS: Between 2009-2018, 551,612 patients presented with PNI from which 120,675 (21.9%) were associated with exercise, sports, or recreation. PNI significantly increased between 2009-2018 (p = 0.002) with an overall incidence rate of 36.9 (95% confidence interval: 28.6, 45.2) per 1,000,000 person-years. A majority of PNI occurred through exercise (n = 56,328, 46.7%). PNI peaked in the fourth and fifth decades in males and females, respectively, with males accounting for significantly more than females (incidence rate ratio: 1.52, 95% confidence interval: 1.18, 1.86; p < 0.0001). White patients had a majority of PNI at 49.3% though African-Americans carried the highest incidence rate at 30.4 (95% confidence interval: 23.8, 36.9) per 1,000,000 person-years. Football had the highest proportion of PNI until age 19 (17.3%) as exercise carried the highest proportion for those 20 and older ranging from 27.9% to 53.8% of PNI. CONCLUSION: PNIs are rising with participation in exercise, sports, and recreation over this 10-year study period. Injuries predominantly occurred in football for those under 20 and exercise for those 20 and older. Precautions and appropriate training are necessary for individuals participating in high-intensity exercise, sports, or recreation to limit the risk of a devastating neurological injury.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Li, NY; Onor, GI; Lemme, NJ; Gil, JA

Published Date

  • September 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 49 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 355 - 362

PubMed ID

  • 33187455

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2326-3660

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/00913847.2020.1850151


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England