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Sports activity after severe polytrauma: results of a prospective study


There is only a small body of literature dealing with the problem of sports activity after survived severe polytrauma. Having in mind that most of these patients are in the age group between 18 to 40 years, sports activity after survived polytrauma is a decisive factor of their quality of life.

Materials and method

In a prospective trial we evaluated the sports activity and sports performance of a group of 50 polytrauma patients (ISS > 15) after a minimum time of 6 months following their discharge from hospital. The characteristics of the group were as follows (mean values): age 28.5 years, follow-up time 18 months, sex: male 40, female 10 patients. The ISS was 50. Cause of injury was in 96% a MVA, in 4% a fall from great height. The APACHE II on the first day was 17. The patients' time on respirator was 7 days. The stay on ICU was 11, and the stay in hospital 26 days. The sports activity and performance were evaluated according to a standardized score in all patients who practiced sports before the trauma. In addition, a performance test with spiroergometry and serum lactate samples could be performed in seven cases.


During the 6 months after discharge from hospital four patients died. The sports status of these patients could not be evaluated. Forty-six patients (92%) were available for further evaluation. The pre- and post-traumatic status of their sports is listed in Table 1. Sports performance and participation levels in difference activities were evaluated in the 36 patients who practised sport before the trauma. The results are listed in Table 2.


According to our results a decrease in activity and performance levels is obvious in the post trauma patient group. More than 70% of the patients practising sports before the trauma had to reduce their activity level. 23.86% had to quit their former activities. However, more than 50% of the patients were able to practice sports after their trauma.

Table 1
Table 2

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Stiletto, R., Nowacki, P. & Baacke, M. Sports activity after severe polytrauma: results of a prospective study. Crit Care 3 (Suppl 1), P230 (2000).

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