Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 8432 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2016 A Growing Trend in Young Athletes byTriciaWhite | Managing Editor goodHEALTH OVERUSE INJURIES As organized youth sports have grown in popularity, the pressure to compete has led to children specializing in one sport only. In generations past, children changed sports with the seasons throughout the year, but today it is common for a child to play just one sport year-round, often competing at the highest levelonmultipleteamsatthesametime. Whenachildcontinually uses the same muscle groups and applies unchanging stress to specific areas of the body, this can lead to muscle imbalances that, when combined with overtraining and inadequate periods of rest, put children at serious risk for overuse injuries. Studies have estimated the prevalence of youth overuse injury to be as high as 68%. “Because young athletes are still growing, they are at a greater risk for injury than adults,” says Dr. Denton Watumull, a Board Certified Plastic and Hand Surgeon at Regional Plastic Surgery Center/RPSC Hand Surgery Center. “The consequences of overdoing a sport can include injuries that impair growth and may lead to long-term health issues.” In his practice, which specializes in care of the wrist, hand, fingers and elbow, Dr. Watumull and his associates regularly see young athletes with injuries that require surgery. How can a parent identify and prevent these issues? Dr. Kwabena Blankson, a Harvard and Yale trained adolescent medical physician offers these tips: 1Talk to your teen. It seems obvious, but asking about pain and fatigue is part of your job as a parent. Don’t rely on the coach to ask. Some coaches will push athletes in pain, with a badge of “toughness” waiting as a reward at the finish line. But an athlete with a little pain can become an athlete with a lot of pain if proper medical attention is not received. Teach your teen to listen to his/ her body and then obey what the body says! 2Takeabreak. The teen athlete needs adequate sleep (8+ hours) to rest and recuperate. Training is important. But bear in mind that studies have shown that youth who train more than 16 hours a week are at increased risk of injury requiring medical attention. Other studies report training more hours per week than their age in years is an injury risk factor. It’s okay for parents to say, “take a day off,” even if makes them unpopular with the coach and their teen. Get a doctor’s note if backup is needed. “When a young athlete repeatedly complains of pain, a period of rest from the sport is necessary. If pain persists, it is important to seek proper medical treatment,” says Dr. Watumull, whose credentials include earning the Emmanuel Kaplan Award for hand surgery. “We commonly see athletes with missed fractures who incorrectly assume that if a finger can move, it is not fractured. Any finger that is swollen and painful more than 2-3 days after an injury should get evaluated and have x-rays taken.” Common signs of overuse injury include: • Pain that cannot be tied to an acute injury, such as from a fall • Swelling • Changes in form or technique • Decreased interest in practice Sources: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Young Men’s Health & Wellness Dr. Kwebena Blankson 972.733.6565 Regional Plastic Surgery Center/ RPSC Hand Surgery Center Dr. Denton Watumull 972.470.5000 "Because young athletes are still growing, they are at a greater risk for injury than adults.” - Dr. Denton Watumull, Regional Plastic Surgery Center/RPSC Hand Surgery Center