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Nicklaus Children's Orthopedic Surgery Program

Sports Medicine Newsletter

We are eager to share our Sports Medicine Program newsletter. This piece is designed to provide patients and families with an overview of the latest sports medicine news, research studies, and injury prevention tips.

Tennis - STOP Sports Injuries

Tennis, played worldwide, is one of the most popular racket sports. A high number of tournaments for competitive tennis players may lead to overuse injuries, such as "tennis elbow" or wrist injuries. For noncompetitive tennis players, improper or inadequate physical and technique training may be the cause of overuse injuries. Although overuse injuries make up a large chunk of tennis injuries, the good news is that such injuries can be prevented with some changes to technique and training routines.

Volleyball - STOP Sports Injuries

Each year, more than 460,000 high school students — including more than 410,000 girls — participate in interscholastic volleyball. As participation has increased over the past two decades, the number of volleyball-related injuries has risen as well. While volleyball injuries rank lowest for all major sports, volleyball players are at risk for both traumatic and overuse injuries.

Water Polo - STOP Sports Injuries

Over the past 20 years, water polo participation has grown signifi cantly in the United States. Sportsmanship, equipment, and attention to preparation and strengthening can help prevent injuries and enhance and improve performance.

Water polo is physically challenging, combining the rigors of swimming,wrestling, and repetitive throwing. Similar to basketball, it involves bursts of activity around the goal and during transition, as well as subtle moves and positioning under the water. All of these factors contribute to injury risk, with shoulder injuries among the most common in the sport.

Wrestling - STOP Sports Injuries

Wrestling, one of the world's oldest sports, is offered at various levels of competition, including the Olympics, the American Athletic Union, the U.S. Wrestling Federation, and high school and college-sponsored tournaments. It's a sport for all sizes of people, and both male and female participants compete, even at the Olympic level. Competition rules require that athletes be paired against each other according to their weight class. Some competitions require that contestants be matched by age, experience, and/or gender. This not only allows more people to participate, but also decreases the risk for injury. Nevertheless, injuries do occur, particularly in the knee, shoulder, skin, and head.

Swimming - STOP Sports Injuries

Swimming is among the most popular low-impact fitness activities, with more than a million competitive and recreational swimmers in the United States. More than one-third of these athletes practice and compete year-round. Elite swimmers may train more than five miles a day, putting joints through extreme repetitive motion. Most swimming injuries affect the shoulders, knees, hips, or back, depending on stroke.

Softball - STOP Sports Injuries

Softball injuries in young athletes are on the rise and nearly as frequent as baseball injuries, but they generally result in less time lost to competition. These injuries most commonly involve the back, shoulder, forearm, wrist, and hand. Pitchers are not more prone to injury than position players; catchers and infielders have similar injury rates. However, pitcher injuries differ from position player injuries because pitchers use a windmill motion that places unique demands on the back, neck, shoulder, forearm, and wrist.

Soccer - STOP Sports Injuries

Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world and the fastestgrowing team sport in the United States. Although soccer provides an enjoyable form of aerobic exercise and helps develop balance, agility, coordination, and a sense of teamwork, soccer players must be aware of the risks for injury. Injury prevention, early detection, and treatment can keep kids and adults on the field long-term.

Skiing and Snowboarding - STOP Sports Injuries

Tens of thousands of skiers and snowboarders enjoy snowsports every year, however few prepare for the rigorous physical demands that these sports place on the body. Although they can be safe sports, unexpected injuries may occur with improper preparation, varied snow conditions or poor judgment. Many injuries can be prevented by proper physical preparation, suitable and properly adjusted equipment, and common sense.

Running - STOP Sports Injuries

Running is a great form of exercise, recreation, and sport participation for adults, adolescents, and children. Whether alone or in a team environment, running, when done properly, can enhance physical fitness, coordination, sense of accomplishment and physical and emotional development. However, running under adverse conditions or with inadequate clothing and equipment can cause a variety of injuries and physical stress.

Rugby - STOP Sports Injuries

Rugby is one of the most popular sports in the world alongside soccer and cricket. In recent years rugby has been gaining in popularity in the United States with athletes from elementary school to adults playing the game. Now more than 80,000 players are registered with USA Rugby, 20,000 of these players are high school age.

Rowing - STOP Sports Injuries

Rowing is an unusual sport in that the athletes sit facing the stern of the boat with their feet anchored in sneakers attached to a foot stretcher. The rowing stroke is a continuous repeated cycle, from a position with the legs extended, elbows flexed, and the oar handle drawn into the body, to the movement of the hands and body and flexing of the knees toward the stern of the boat. The back, shoulder, and arms act as connections so that the force generated by the legs is applied to the oar and not dissipated.

Martial Arts - STOP Sports Injuries

Martial arts are a popular form of exercise and sport worldwide. After soccer, Judo is the most practiced sport in the world. There are hundreds of different styles of martial arts, each being mechanically, philosophically, culturally, and geographically diverse. In the United States there are an estimated 8 million participants in martial arts, with Tae kwon do and Karate being most popular.

Lacrosse - STOP Sports Injuries

With its roots in Native American cultures, lacrosse is America's oldest and currently fastest growing team sport. Played by both girls and boys of all ages, it is a fast paced, free flowing game. Its' combination of speed, quick change of direction, stick, ball, and contact make for a unique set of injury mechanisms and types.

Inline Skating - STOP Sports Injuries

Inline skating is a popular form of exercise that can burn as many calories as running or cycling while potentially placing less stress on the joints of the lower body. More than 17 million Americans participate in the sport. Unfortunately, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 61,000 injuries from inline skating were treated in 2007.

Figure Skating - STOP Sports Injuries

In recent years the physical demands of figure skating have increased dramatically with a corresponding increase in potentially detrimental effects on the adolescent body. With the elimination of figures from competition in 1999 and the introduction of a new judging system in 2003, the technical difficulties of spinning, jumping, connecting moves, lifts, and throws have significantly increased. Sound technique, proper equipment, and smarter practices and training schedules are imperative for skaters to maintain healthy bodies.

Golf - STOP Sports Injuries

Golf looks like an easy game to play, hitting a stationary object with a club into a relatively wide open space. Well, think again! To become a good golfer, it is recommended that you start young and practice, practice, and practice. Golf historically is perceived as being a low-risk sport when it comes to injuries. However, many young golfers, especially those who lack proper technique, suffer from acute or overuse injuries.

Football - STOP Sports Injuries

Football is one of the most popular sports played by young athletes, and it leads all other sports in the number of injuries sustained. In 2007, more than 920,000 athletes under the age of 18 were treated in emergency rooms, doctors' offices, and clinics for football-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Field Hockey - STOP Sports Injuries

Field hockey is one of the oldest sports in existence: 4,000 year-old wall decorations from the tomb of Kheti in Egypt depict players with rudimentary "crooks" and a ball. The modern game of field hockey was subsequently developed in England in the mid-19th century and exported to the United States as a women's sport in 1901. Interest in field hockey has grown dramatically in North America, and today there are more than 5,000 women competing at the collegiate level each year. As the sport has evolved, it has become faster-paced and more physical. As a result, the number of and severity of injuries has increased.

Dance - STOP Sports Injuries

For many people dance may not spring to mind when thinking about sports, but the physical demands placed on the bodies of dancers have been shown to make them just as susceptible as football players to injury. In particular, most professional dancers began dancing at the age of five or six, the repetitive practice of movements that require extreme flexibility, strength, and endurance make them prime candidates for overuse injuries.

Cycling - STOP Sports Injuries

Since the 1800s when bicycles first made their appearance, cycling has become popular for commuting, recreation, exercise, and sport. Today, there are about 80 million cyclists in the United States. Studies estimate that large numbers of these cyclists experience physical problems: 48 percent in their necks, 42 percent in their knees, 36 percent in the groin and buttocks, 31 percent in their hands, and 30 percent in the back. No matter why they use a bicycle, young people can follow some basic safety principles to avoid common cycling injuries.

Cheerleading - STOP Sports Injuries

Legend has it that cheerleading started with a University of Minnesota student standing up in the stands and leading his fellow students in "cheering" for their team during a football game. Cheerleading has morphed drastically since then. Today, it's considered an athletic activity that incorporates elements of dance and gymnastics along with stunts and pyramid formations. In 2002, an estimated 3.5 million people in the United States participated as cheerleaders, from six-year-olds to adults who cheerlead for professional athletic teams. While cheerleading is meant to support an athletic team, its intense competitions at the high school and collegiate levels have created a whole new dynamic, including increased risk for injury.

Gymnastics - STOP Sports Injuries

Each year, more than 86,000 gymnastics-related injuries are treated in hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, and ambulatory surgery centers. Gymnasts must consistently prepare for the rigorous physical and emotional toils that the sport requires. With the complexity of routines, the risk of potential injury increases. Injuries most commonly occur in the ankles, feet, lower back, knees, wrists, and hands, often from overuse or simple stress. Injuries are rarely severe, but if left untreated they can lead to chronic pain and bone fractures.

Basketball - STOP Sports Injuries

Basketball was first introduced to the world in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith, using a soccer ball and two peach baskets. Today's high-speed, physical sport scarcely resembles the original game. With modern basketball's fast pace game come many opportunities for injuries. It is estimated that more than 1.6 million injuries are associated with basketball each year.

Baseball - STOP Sports Injuries

Injuries in young athletes are on the rise, but elbow and shoulder injuries in children are on the verge of becoming an epidemic. Thousands of children are seen each year complaining of elbow or shoulder pain. Damage or tear to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is the most common injury suffered and is often caused by pitchers throwing too much. This ligament is the main stabilizer of the elbow for the motions of pitching. When it becomes damaged, it can be difficult to repair and rehabilitate.

Baseball Injuries in Children

Thousands of children who play in baseball leagues are seen each year complaining of elbow or shoulder pain. Injuries in these young athletes are on the verge of becoming an epidemic. Damage or tear to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) should be treated immediately, otherwise it is difficult to repair or rehabilitate.

Safety Concerns with Hoverboards

​The recent holiday season’s most popular toy, the hoverboard, is causing concern among the medical experts at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. 

Youth Sports Injury Prevention Infographic

Are your kids playing it safe? Helping children lead physically active lifestyles is essential to their health. Explore Nicklaus Children's Hospital's best tips for keeping young athletes safe and active.

Sports Medicine at Nicklaus Children's Hospital

Dr. Craig Spurdle and Dr. Stephen Swirsky explain new surgical techniques and the prevention of sports injuries in children.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (786) 624-2778 or toll free 1-888-624-2778.

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