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America’s Fastest Growing Sport Could Cost Americans $377 Million in Injuries

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As pickleball rises in popularity, it might come at a cost, according to a new UBS report.

The court game, which has been dubbed the fastest-growing sport in the country, was predicted to cost Americans $377 million in healthcare fees in 2023 due to pickleball-related injuries. Further, the report found that pickleball injuries could account for 5%-10% of this year’s total unexpected medical costs.

Analysts predicted that 22.3 million people are playing pickleball this year, with seniors making up one-third of “core players,” according to the report (obtained by Bloomberg).

RELATED: Pickleball Is Becoming Big Business for Entrepreneurs. Here’s How They Are Remaking America’s Fastest Growing Sport.

With its popularity among retirees, pickleball-related injuries occur more often in seniors. According to a 2021 study, over 85 percent of pickleball-induced emergency room visits from 2010-2019 occurred in people over 60.

The most common injuries in the sport are strains, sprains, and fractures to the wrists and lower legs.

UBS analysts estimated that pickleball injuries are expected to account for about 67,000 emergency room visits, 366,000 outpatient visits, and nearly 9,000 outpatient surgeries this year alone.

“While we generally think of exercise as positively impacting health outcomes, the ‘can-do’ attitude of today’s seniors can pose a greater risk in other areas such as sports injuries, leading to a greater number of orthopedic procedures,” the analysts warned.

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