Riding Ranks Tenth in List of Sports with Most Injuries

Loyola University Health System reported this week that basketball tops the list of sports associated with the most injuries, with more than 512,000 basketball-related injuries landing individuals in U.S. emergency rooms in 2005. Horseback riding was tenth on the list of recreational activities with 73,576 injuries associated with the sport.

Pietro Tonino, MD, director of the division of sports medicine, Loyola University Health System, Maywood, Ill., said, "Bicycles ranked second highest with 485,000 injuries, followed by football with 418,000 injuries. Soccer came in fourth at 174,000 injuries." Tonino is also assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery in the department of orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Tonino analyzed new data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and compiled a list of the sports with the greatest number of injuries treated at hospital emergency rooms:

Recreational Activity Number of Injuries
Basketball 512,213
Bicycles 485,669
Football 418,260
Soccer 174,686
Baseball 155,898
Skateboards 112,544
Trampolines 108,029
Softball 106,884
Swimming/Diving 82,354
Horseback 73,576
Weightlifting 65,716
Basketball 512,213
Volleyball 52,091
Golf 47,360
Roller-skating 35,003
Wrestling 33,734
Gymnastics 27,821
In-line skating 26,935
Tennis 19,487
Track & field 17,306

Tonino noted that people need proper training and conditioning to reduce their injury risk in a new sport. He said many injuries can be prevented by wearing protective gear, knowing and playing by the rules of the game, and being physically fit.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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