A comparison of head injuries in male and female lacrosse participants seen in US emergency departments from 2005 to 2016
INTRODUCTION In the United States there has been a large increase in participation in lacrosse for both males and females. The purpose of this study was to analyze the number of head injuries, injury rates (calculated using the reported number of participants) and types of head injuries that are seen in emergency departments in the United States.
METHODS We compared injuries between male and female lacrosse participants. This was a retrospective study using a publicly available database produced by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and information about lacrosse participation from US Lacrosse.
RESULTS A linear regression was performed and showed a positive correlation between number of head injuries to males and time from 2002 to 2010 (R 2 = 0.823; p = 0.001). While the number of injuries to the head in female lacrosse participants was not significant. There was a negative correlation between the number of head injuries to males from 2010 to 2016 (R 2 = 0.800; p = 0.007), but again, there was no significance for female injury count (R 2 = 0.417; p = 0.117). Other significant differences between head injuries in males and females included the mechanism of injury and the type of injury recorded.
CONCLUSION The most recent data from 2010 to 2016, suggest that both males and females have had a decrease in injury rate. However the total number of female head injuries is not significantly decreasing and as the sport continues to grow there will likely be more total head injuries and visits to the emergency department.