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New risk for insurers and employers: Pickleball

Written on Jul 14, 2023

Pickleball injuries could cost American insurers hundreds of millions a year, as insurance companies are reporting a surge in hip replacements, knee surgeries and other elective procedures. 

The recent surge of interest in the sport of badminton-meets-tennis-meets-ping-pong matches that of what UnitedHealth Group reports as a “higher-than-expected” frequency of injuries resulting in surgeries. 

UBS Group analysts say some of the uptick, resulting in surges in health care costs between $250 and $500 million, is likely because the number of pickleball players increased by 159% in three years. Of those, around one-third are seniors who are playing at least eight times a year. 

The most common injuries of what has been dubbed “America’s fastest growing sport” include strains, sprains and fractures, with the wrist and lower leg being the most susceptible, Bloomberg reported. 

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