According to a new US study high school football players and wrestling athletes suffer the highest rate of severe injuries.
The study conducted by researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital showed that these injuries accounted for 15 percent of all high school sport-related injuries.
Moreover, males were the most likely to experience severe injuries.
In directly comparable sports, such as soccer, basketball and baseball/softball, females sustained a higher severe injury rate.
"Twenty-nine percent of severe injuries occurred to the knee, making it the most commonly injured body site," said the study's co-author Christy Collins, CIRP research associate at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
"The ankle accounted for 12 percent followed by shoulder at 11 percent," she added.
Among the most severe and common injuries 36 percent accounted for fractures, 15pct complete ligament sprains and 14pct incomplete ligament sprains.
However, commonly fractured body sites included the hand and finger (18 percent), ankle (14 percent) and wrist (11 percent).
"Severe injuries negatively affect athletes' health and often place an increased burden on the health care system," said study co-author Dr Dawn Comstock, CIRP principal investigator at Nationwide Children's and a faculty member of The Ohio State University College of Medicine.
"Future research is needed to develop effective interventions to decrease the incidence and severity of high school sports injuries," Comstock added.
The study appears in American Journal of Sports Medicine.