Sports Specializatio​n Study ​

“The Risks of Injury Related to Sports Specialization and Rapid Growth in Young Athletes”

Multicenter study working with Loyola University Medical Center
Principle Investigator: Cynthia LaBella, MD

Purpose: To determine whether the degree of sports specialization, weekly training volumes, and growth rates a​re independent risk factors for injury in young athletes.

This multi-center prospective cohort study followed injured young athletes recruited from sports medicine clinics and uninjured athletes recruited during their sports physical at primary care clinics. At baseline, all athletes were 8-18 years old and completed a survey reporting training volumes, degree of sports specialization, Tanner stage, and had height and weight measured. This same data was collected from each participant at six month intervals for up to three years (2010-2012).

Results from the first phase of this study suggest sports specialization may be an independent risk factor for injury for some young athletes.