Date of Conferral





Public Health


Michael Dunn


Sport-related injuries (SRI) can be foreseen and averted when mechanisms and risk factors are completely understood. An appreciation of the relationship between sport-related concussion (SRC) and lower extremity musculoskeletal injuries (LEMI) is emerging amid professional and collegiate athletes. However, findings of such a relationship in adults may not be generalizable to younger populations, and the literature has not addressed this relationship in adolescents. The purpose of this cross-sectional quantitative study was to examine the relationship between SRC and LEMI in high school athletes. The dynamic model of etiology in sport injury provided the study's conceptual framework. A de-identified secondary dataset of high school athletic injuries was obtained from the Athletic Training Practice Based Rehab Network and analyzed with descriptive and inferential statistics. Concussions, knee sprains, and ankle sprains represented about 12%, 17%, and 70%, respectively, of the 1,613 cases in the dataset. Chi-square tests revealed that SRCs, and the number of SRCs, were associated with knee sprains [(p < .001), Cramer's V = .148] and ankle sprains [(p < .001), Cramer's V = .545]. This study may promote positive social change by prompting further retrospective and prospective studies to clarify whether a relationship exists between SRC and LEMI in high school athletes, and if so, whether this relationship is causal in nature. New knowledge may be used to guide practices and policies to reduce sports injuries in high school athletes, which may lead to fewer SRIs among adolescents, fewer school absences, more physical activity, and better health and well-being throughout the lifespan, thereby promoting a more active, productive, and healthy society.