TitleAcute and Overuse, Time-Loss and Non-Time-Loss Lateral Ankle Sprains and Health Care Utilization in Collegiate Student-Athletes.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsBrown, CN, Bovbjerg, VE, Soucy, MT, Choe, SJ, Fredericson, M, Simon, JE
JournalJ Sport Rehabil
Date Published09/2022

CONTEXT: Health care utilization and the occurrence of non-time-loss (NTL) lateral ankle sprains is not well documented in collegiate athletes but could provide better estimates of injury burden and inform clinician workload.

DESIGN: Descriptive epidemiologic study.

METHODS: Lateral ankle sprain injury occurrence for Division I collegiate student-athletes in a conference with 32 sports representing 732 team seasons was collected during the 2018-2019 through 2020-2021 academic years. Injuries were designated as acute or overuse, and time-loss (TL) or NTL. Associated health care utilization, including athletic training services (AT services), and physician encounters were reported along with anatomical structures involved and season of occurrence.

RESULTS: A total of 1242 lateral ankle sprains were reported over the 3 years from 732 team seasons and 17,431 player seasons, resulting in 12,728 AT services and 370 physician encounters. Most lateral ankle sprains were acute-TL (59.7%), which were associated with the majority of AT services (74.1%) and physician encounters (70.0%). Acute-NTL sprains represented 37.8% of lateral ankle sprains and were associated with 22.3% of AT services and 27.0% of physician encounters. On average, there were 12.7 (5.8) AT services per acute-TL sprain and 6.0 (3.6) per acute-NTL sprain. Most sprains involved "ankle lateral ligaments" (45.6%), and very few were attributed to overuse mechanisms (2.4%).

CONCLUSIONS: Lateral ligament sprains are a common injury across many sports and result in substantial health care utilization from ATs and physicians, including NTL lateral ankle sprains. Although TL injuries were the majority of sprains, a substantial proportion of sprains were NTL and accounted for a considerable proportion of health care utilization.

Alternate JournalJ Sport Rehabil
PubMed ID36070860