Big Jump in Knee Injuries in Kids

Posted by: admin on: November 30, 2011

Increased diagnosis, awareness in parents, increased referrals to consultants has lead to statistical increase in knee injuries in kids. Here is an article by AAP depicting this.


The incidence of knee injuries in children and adolescents has increased dramatically in recent years, according to one large, single-center’s clinical experience.

Meniscal and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears both increased significantly during 1999 to 2010, including a 400% surge in the frequency of ACL tears. Much of the increase occurred from 2005 to 2010.

In an effort to replace presumption with data, investigators reviewed records of patients, younger than 18, treated at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia from 1999 through 2010 for one of three conditions:

  • Meniscal tear
  • ACL tear
  • Tibial spine fracture

Cases were sorted by year, and multivariate linear regression analysis was employed to analyze trends over time, using tibial spinal fracture as a control
The number of tibial spine fractures increased by 1.07 per year during the period reviewed, resulting in a statistically significant trend (P<0.05). By comparison, the volume of ACL tears increased by 14 per year and meniscal tears by 11 per year. Both increases were significantly greater compared with tibial spine fracture (P<0.001).

The results are consistent with those from a recent evaluation of injury trends among collegiate athletes. That study showed increases in meniscal tears, ACL tears, and tibial spine fractures over a 16-year period (J Athl Train 2007; 42: 311-319).

The reasons for the increase in knee injuries among children and athletes were beyond the scope of the study, Beck said, but he pointed out that possible reasons have included increased diagnosis, more referrals, and more aggressive treatment. An AAP meeting attendee suggested more intense competition and year-round training as other potential contributors



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