I'm working with a group of inner city boys and young men in Los Angeles. Our focus is team sports like soccer and basketball. We do have some more individual programs like tennis and handball. We seem to be having a rash of shoulder injuries -- especially shoulder dislocations. Most of these fellows are Hispanic. Does that racial group tend to get injured easily?
Information on injuries is collected each year from emergency departments across the United States. Shoulder dislocations is one of those injuries data is reported on. Age, sex, and race are fairly typical patient characteristics included. Cause of injury is another feature added to the database. The majority of the shoulder dislocations reported occurred as a result of a sudden fall. Two age groups were represented: between 20 and 29 and between 80 and 89. The younger group were more likely to fall during a sports or recreational activity. They were either athletes or military personnel (and sometimes military participating in sports). Football and basketball accounted for the majority of dislocations. Falls at home were more likely to be reported by the older adults. In the younger group, men were represented two and a half times more often than women. A closer look at whether or not shoulder dislocations occur more or less often by race shows that more whites report shoulder dislocations. But when the data is analyzed further the results show that no individual race (white, black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian) have more cases of shoulder dislocation than the others.