Likelihood of Knee Replacement Surgery up to 15 years After Sports Injury

Researchers: Associate Professor llana N Ackerman 1, Dr Megan A Bohensky 2, Professor Richard de Steiger 3, Dr Joanne L Kemp 4

1 – School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Monash University

2 – Department of Medicine (Royal Melbourne Hospital), The University of Melbourne
3 – Epworth HealthCare and The University of Melbourne
4 – La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, La Trobe University

Partners: Musculoskeletal Australia, Monash University

Year: 2017

Participation in recreational and competitive sport is fostered from a young age in Australia. Sporting clubs form the heart of many suburban and regional communities, and individual and team-based sporting activities are firmly entrenched in our culture. However, while sports participation has a range of valuable health and social benefits, there is also a considerable risk of joint and soft tissue injury. Previous research has identified a significant increase in sports-related injury rates in Victoria from 2004 to 2010. Of great concern is that the frequency of knee and lower leg injuries rose by 27% over this 7-year period. Given that previous joint injury is a strong predictor of future knee osteoarthritis (OA), this growth in sports injury rates could manifest in increased rates of OA that may require surgical treatment.

While earlier studies provide preliminary evidence that links sports injury to an increased risk of subsequent knee replacement surgery, the full burden on health systems (including the costs of healthcare) is not well understood. This study is the first study to investigate, at the population level, the risk of knee replacement surgery and associated healthcare costs in people who have previously sustained a sports-related knee injury.

Access the report and article here.

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