Clin Orthop Surg.  2019 Jun;11(2):187-191. 10.4055/cios.2019.11.2.187.

Epidemiologic Study of Shoulder Injuries in the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Wonju Severance Christian Hospital, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Korea.
  • 2Yonsei Institute of Sports Science and Exercise Medicine, Wonju, Korea.


The purpose of this study is to describe and analyze the shoulder injuries in elite athletes during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
To collect the data of all Olympic athletes who visited venue medical centers, polyclinics, and Olympic-designated hospitals for shoulder injuries during the Olympic Games (February 9 through 25, 2018), we reviewed Olympic electronic medical records and patient information obtained from Olympic medical service teams about athletes who complained of shoulder pain.
During the Olympics, a total of 14 athletes visited clinics for shoulder-related symptoms. Five athletes were injured in games and nine were injured in training. The injury was due to overuse in four patients. Ten patients had trauma-related symptoms: one after being hit by an opponent and the other nine after a collision with the ground or an object. There were no patients who complained of symptoms related to pre-existing shoulder conditions. The most common cause of shoulder pain was snow-boarding (one big air and three slopestyle). The most common diagnosis was contusion (n = 6), followed by rotator cuff injuries (n = 3), superior labrum from anterior to posterior lesion (n = 1), sprain (n = 1), acromioclavicular-coracoclavicular injury (n = 1), dislocation (n = 1), and fracture (n = 1).
To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first epidemiologic study of shoulder injury conducted during a huge sports event involving a variety of competitions for elite athletes. If the risk factors of shoulder injury can be established by continuing research in the future, it will be helpful to prevent injury and to prepare safety measures for athletes.


Shoulder injury; 2018 Olympic winter games; Retrospective study; Epidemiologic study
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