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    • 08 MAY 15
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    Home News Tribune: Athletes with Overuse Injuries Are Blooming

    University Orthopaedic Associates (UOA) was featured in the Home News Tribune and Courier News in an article written by Eric Nussbaum, an athletic trainer at UOA. The article discusses the rise of overuse injuries in youth sports and highlights the physicians’ experiences with high-risk sports, common overuse injuries and their efforts to educate their patients. In addition, the article mentions the adolescent shin pain study currently being conducted at the Somerset office to identify and understand the causes of adolescent shin pain, a common overuse injury.

    See the full article below and on mycentraljersey.com:

    Healthwise: Athletes with overuse injuries are blooming

    University Orthopaedic Associates physicians highlight problems associated with athletes’ overuse injuries and work to find answers for them.

    Springtime ushers the start of spring sports and the potential for overuse injury for athletes.

    University Orthopaedic Associates physicians highlight problems associated with their occurrence and work to find answers for athletes.

    Charles Gatt, MD, of University Orthopaedic Associates notes that “the published data on overuse injury is significant and quite concerning.” A recently published study in the Journal of Pediatrics looked at data collected from an online high school injury registry. The investigators noted that girls suffered more overuse injuries then boys and that girls track was the sport with the highest incidence of overuse injury. The study also noted that the lower leg had the highest incidence of overuse injury when looking at all sports.

    A study by Loyola University Medical center which reviewed insurance records, found that wealthier athletes aged 7 to 18 suffered 68 percent more overuse injuries than athletes from homes with lower socioeconomic status.

    The position statement “Prevention of Pediatric Overuse Injuries” issued by The National Athletic Trainers Association notes that overuse injuries in the pediatric population offer a significant health care concern. Some reports indicate that 50 percent of pediatric patients that present to sports medicine clinics do so because of overuse injuries. Their incidence results in numerous physician visits, increased imaging rates, lengthy and recurring rehabilitation visits. Those with recurrent overuse injuries frequently stop participating in sports and recreational activities which adds to the already increasing number of obese sedentary individuals.

    During a recent educational meeting for pediatricians, hosted by University Orthopaedic Associates (UOA), Timothy Hosea, MD, noted that “the increase in overuse rates is partly due to increased pressure to specialize at an earlier age, and the participation on multiple teams that play all year round. Many kids just don’t get a break or try to do too much. The old adage that more is better isn’t necessarily correct. More is leading to overuse injury.”

    Jeffrey Bechler, MD, said, “We use to play sports because we had fun. We would play multiple different sports throughout the year rather than just playing one sport all year round. This has really lead to an increase in shoulder and elbow problems in baseball players.”

    James Monica, MD, also of UOA, said, “Baseball has seen an incredible rise in ulnar collateral ligament injuries of the elbow and it can be linked back to the number of throws that occur over the year. Pitchers pitch on multiple teams and often are pitching when they are fatigued. In response to the increase in injuries, MLB has created pitch guidelines called ‘Pitch Smart,’ which looks to limit the innings pitched and number of throws made during a calendar year.”

    Dr. Gatt, an avid runner, said, “During this time of year, runners experience shin pain as they prepare for outdoor track and transition to hurdles, jumping and sprinting activities on the track. The incidence is highest among first time athletes, freshmen girls, and sophomore boys who compete in track. Faulty mechanics, improper footwear, obesity, lack of fitness, the increased pounding of road training or running on wet sloppy ground can all contribute to shin pain. Chronic shin pain is erroneously called “Shin Splints,” which is a catch all term as it doesn’t carry a formal medical diagnosis. Shin pain could be due to a stress fracture, compartment syndrome or tendinitis. It is important to make the distinction and to gain a proper diagnosis for chronic problems. We need to educate kids about the risks of playing through the pain.”

    It’s great to get out and enjoy the springtime weather and sports, but it’s important to recognize the signs of overuse injury which include chronic pain, pain that persists more than a couple of days, pain that affects your performance, swelling, loss of motion, and pain that bothers you when you are not participating in sporting activity should all be evaluated by a sports medicine physician.

    UOA is currently conducting an adolescent shin pain study at their Somerset office to better identify and understand the causes of adolescent shin pain. Interested adolescents with shin pain may voluntarily enroll in the study by contacting University Orthopaedic Associates. Participants will receive a comprehensive exam by a fellowship-trained orthpaedic surgeon and free MRI study of their legs. There is no charge to participate in the study.

    To learn more about University Orthopaedic Associates, overuse injury and the Adolescent Shin Pain study, visit www.uoanj.com.

    Eric Nussbaum is an athletic trainer for University Orthopaedic Associates, New Jersey’s leading orthopaedic practice dedicated to providing the most current, highest quality, personalized healthcare services available. The group is committed to the pursuit of excellence in orthopaedic treatment, medical education and training, clinical and bench research, and the promotion of community health.

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