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March 8, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Researchers from The Ohio State University College of Medicine’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences have received a five-year, $1.7 million award from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health to study whether functional pre-participation physical evaluations are more effective in predicting lower extremity injuries in high school athletes than existing physical examinations.

According to the human performance researchers, although health benefits associated with physical activity in adolescents are significant and well-reported, those who engage in recreational exercise and sport also face potential short and long term limitations to their function and participation over their lifetime due to lower extremity musculoskeletal injury.

“We have proposed a model to change how we conduct pre-participation or yearly physical examinations to better evaluate individuals for musculoskeletal injury risk to promote their physical activity,” says James Onate, associate professor at Ohio State College of Medicine and researcher at The Center for Personalized Health Care at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

“We hope to incorporate aspects of our findings to alter how we screen all individuals prior to any activity or exercise program to promote the overall importance of safety and injury prevention,” adds Onate, also principal investigator of the large scale study at Ohio State. 

Onate says, according to data collected over a four-year period, knee and ankle injuries accounted for nearly 35 percent of the total injuries sustained by high school athletes.  Knee injuries represented approximately 15 percent of all injuries sustained by high school athletes and resulted in an estimated 1 million knee injuries occurring nationally. Ankle injuries represented 20 percent of all injuries sustained by high school athletes and resulted in an estimated 1.3 million ankle injuries occurring nationally.


Contact: Sherri Kirk, College of Medicine and Center for Personalized Health Care Public Relations, 614-366-3277, or