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Australia’s Health Issues Priority Workshop

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 Australia’s Health Issues and Priorities Workshop 6: Injury Prevention 1 Learning Objectives: • Describe the basic epidemiological profile and burden of disease associated with arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions in Australia. • Assess the causality and determinants of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoporosis, back problems, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. • Identify health system interventions and services to address arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions and their risk factors.


 A Case Study for Prevention Sports injuries are injuries that occur during athletic activities. In many cases, these types of injuries are often due to overuse or acute trauma of a part of the body when participating in a certain activity. For example, runner’s knee is a painful condition generally associated with running, while tennis elbow is a form of repetitive stress injury at the elbow. Other types of injuries can be caused by a hard contact with something which can cause a broken bone or torn ligament or tendon. Injuries are a common occurrence in professional sports and most teams have a trainers, physiotherapists, or either professionals with a health background. Controversy has arisen at times when teams have made decisions that could threaten a player’s long-term health for short term gain. Most sports injuries are mild and temporary, with no long-term effects. Minor sprains and bruises or overuse injuries treated properly may be nuisances but do not necessarily cause any permanent problems. Some injuries, however, may lead to arthritis later in life. The types of injuries that lead to arthritis include direct injury to the cartilage (as in fractured joints) or injuries that alter joint mechanics, increasing the stress on the articular surface. Severe bruising of the cartilage surface, or a fracture of the bone through the cartilage in the joint lead to permanent injury and eventual arthritis. The joint may heal irregularly causing the cartilage to wear unevenly and eventually erode, resulting in arthritis. More commonly, a sports injury leads to arthritis when a ligament or supporting structure is damaged, causing abnormal mechanics in the joint. This greatly increases the stress on the articular surface, which over time, wears out and causes arthritis. This often occurs in the knee.

Injury Prevention 2

In this workshop, we will look at a case study involving a sporting injury and consider possible preventative measures that could be used to avoid the injury and progression of the injury to long term issues.

 Activity 1: (15 minutes)

 Read the case study provided below, then in small groups, discuss the questions provided below writing a brief summary for each of the main points from your discussion:

Case Study

 In 1990, Raymond was a 16-year-old football player at the Tully Tigers football club. He was the star player in the under 18 team, was the captain of the team and a starting player on the field every match. One weekend, Raymond was running late for the game, but managed to arrive just in time to take the field. The rest of the team had already completed the warm-up and were about to start the game when Raymond arrived. He rushed over and immediately took the field as the game started. Within 2 plays, Raymond received the ball and made a break. As he was about to score, a player on the opposing team attempted a tackle and Raymond’s left knee hit the goal post. He scored the try but was in immense pain and was clutching at his left knee afterwards. Officials had forgotten to put padding on the goal posts. The trainer for the team attended to Raymond and told him to get up and “walk it off”. He was unable to return to the field to play the remainder of the game but sat on the sideline to observe for the rest of the match. The trainer told Raymond to walk up and down the sideline every 10 minutes to help keep the knee mobile, but no other treatment was provided. After the game, Raymond returned home and did not seek any further treatment for his knee injury. He assumed it would get better in a few weeks and he would be ok to resume playing football. His injury took longer to heal than expected, but he eventually got back into football. He generally found that his knee ached after games and ended up quitting football to focus on his university studies at the age of 19. As time progressed, Raymond found that he was exercising less, and started to gain weight. He remained quite sedentary over the years and eventually found it difficult to jog or run because of his ongoing knee pain. Eventually, he struggled to walk up steps without pain.

 Injury Prevention 3 Years later, Raymond married, and his wife encouraged him to seek medical advice for his knee pain. He was diagnosed with osteoarthritis 15 years after the initial injury.

 Questions: 1.

What factors do you think contributed to the development of Raymond’s osteoarthritis


 Do you think Raymond’s treatment was adequate following the injury? Why/Why not?


Suggest an action plan for athletes who suffer sports injuries to ensure that long term injuries are prevented.


 What could have been done to prevent the onset of osteoarthritis?


What are the potential long-term impacts of Raymond’s osteoarthritis on his overall health and wellbeing?

QUESTION 6. What treatment options are available for Raymond to manage his osteoarthri

 Injury Prevention 4 Activity 2: (20 minutes) In small groups, answer the following questions using the latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report on Hospitalised sports injuries in Australia.


 How many people were hospitalised for sports injuries in Australia in 2016- 17?


 Which sports most frequently led to hospitalisations for males and females?


Who is most likely to be hospitalised for sports injuries (gender and age group)?


 Which types of injuries were most common?


Which body part was most commonly injured for males and females?


 Provide some suggestions to prevent sporting injuries.

Reference: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2020). Hospitalised sports injury in Australia, 2016–17. Canberra: AIHW.

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