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Stress Fracture Symptoms and Treatment Tips from TOCA’s Orthopedic Experts

“You have a stress fracture” is a diagnosis shared all too often by orthopedic specialists, especially when treating athletes. Athletes are most at risk due to repetitive activity and overuse of their feet and legs. Overuse causes the lower extremities to continually absorb these forces and potentially causing tiny cracks in the bones.

If athletic activity is too frequent, it diminishes the body’s ability to repair and replace bone. And the likelihood of sustaining a stress fracture increases. That’s why runners, dancers, soccer players, and basketball players are particularly vulnerable to stress fractures.

And, according to The Orthopedic Clinic Association (TOCA) orthopedic and sports medicine care expert, Dr. Gerald Yacobucci, MD, “If they are already experiencing consistent pain, the more these athletes train and compete, the more they may be placing themselves at greater risk for injury – and time away – from the sport or activity they enjoy.”

Here’s what Dr. Yacobucci and the TOCA team want ALL athletes, parents, and coaches to know in order to recognize stress fracture symptoms, help prevent stress fractures from occurring, and remain injury-free.

Stress Fracture Symptoms

What are some of the signs of stress fracture to watch out for? Rather than the sharp pain resulting from an acute fracture, stress fractures are typically accompanied by a dull pain that increases gradually. Often, the pain subsides during rest and intensifies during activity. Swelling around the site may be present as well as some tenderness and bruising. As mentioned above, stress fractures can be caused by overuse of lower extremities, common in athletes, but they can also arise from a sudden upsurge in physical activity. Osteoporosis can also increase the chance of a stress fracture.

It’s important to remember that, if dull pain persists, it’s time to seek help from an orthopedic specialist!

Treatment of Stress Fractures

Immediately after injury or stress fracture symptoms occur, patients are encouraged to follow the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method. Once you consult with you orthopedic specialist, he/she will examine the “pain point” and X-rays will likely be taken. If the stress fracture is not visible via X-ray, but your doctor still suspects that you have a stress fracture, he/she may recommend that you get an MRI.

Nonsurgical treatment options for stress fractures include keeping weight off of the area (perhaps wearing a boot or using crutches), and modified activity for a period of up to 8 weeks. In some, more severe, cases, surgery may be necessary to allow the stress fracture to heal properly. This typically entails using a pin, screw, or plate to “fasten” the bones together in order to promote healing. The key to recovery is to allow ample time for rest, healing, and rehabilitation. Taking time off ensures that you can eventually get back to the activities you enjoy safely and without placing yourself at risk for additional injury.

Stress Fracture Prevention

According to Dr. Yacobucci, “One of the most important pieces of advice I share with patients, especially athletes, is to monitor and be mindful of your activity and pain level. If you find that you’re consistently experiencing pain during training or workouts, then it’s time to listen to your body’s signals. Refrain from activity until you seek further treatment from an orthopedic expert.”

Additional stress fracture prevention tips from Dr. Yacobucci and TOCA experts include:

  • Wearing footwear with good support.
  • Strength training and cross-training to avoid overuse of certain muscle sets and strain on bones.
  • Good nutrition, including plenty of calcium and Vitamin D for optimal bone strength.
  • And good common sense. Listen to your body’s signals and seek help if pain persists after adequate rest.

To schedule a consult with Dr. Yacobucci, or one of TOCA’s knowledgeable and highly trained orthopedics specialists, please contact us at 602.277.6211.

Dr. Blazuk and colleagues study the Validity of Indirect Ultrasound Findings…

Title: Validy of Indirect Ultrasound Findings in Acute Anterior Cruciate Ligament Ruptures

Ken Mautner, MD, Walter I. Sussman, DO, Katie Nanos, MD, Joseph Blazuk, MD, Carmen Brigham, ATC, Emily Sarros, ATC

Objectives: Ultrasound (US) is increasingly being used as an extension of the physical examination on the sidelines, in training rooms, and in clinics. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in sport is common, but the literature on US findings after acute ACL rupture is limited. Three indirect US findings of ACL rupture have been described, and this study assessed the validity of these indirect signs.

American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine /  J Ultrasound Med 2018; 9999:1-8 / 0278-4297

Click here for full article!

 

Dr. Josh Vella – 5th Annual World Congress in Orthopedics-2018

Dr. Josh C. Vella, TOCA Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon, is honored to carry the distinction of becoming an international lecturer at the 5th Annual World Congress in Orthopedics-2018 in Milan, Italy.

He was one of a few distinguished international lecturers who discussed various new treatment options with the theme of this years conference “Breaking Barriers in Orthopedic Research”.

Photo: Dr. Josh C. Vella (center), Dr Michael Boland (right) of The Hand Institute, University of Auckland, New Zealand and Dr  Scott Fried (left) in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson University Hand Center in Philadelphia.

Dr. Padley has a long tradition of providing care for sports teams.

Dr. Padley returned to the Dominican Republic in April with the Cincinnati Reds for the annual opening of their Dominican complex. The trip included evaluations of 40+ Dominican athletes hoping to advance their way up the Cincinnati Reds baseball system. This marks the beginning of the baseball season for the Dominican teams. Most major league baseball teams have affiliates in the Dominican in search of that next great player! Dr. Padley is an orthopedic consultant and provider to the Cincinnati Reds for major league baseball spring training and throughout the year for their minor league and rookie league teams. In additional to this health care relationship, he is also a consultant to Japanese professional baseball for the Saitama Seibu Lions. With his expertise in hip disorders and injuries, Ballet Arizona benefits from his service as a consultant. He was a team physician for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury for four years including the 2014 championship season. Dr. Padley proudly serves as the team physician for Benedictine University in Mesa as well as Millennium and Verrado High Schools in Goodyear.

For more information on Dr. Padley, Click HERE

 

Join Team TOCA with Dr. Feng & the Arthritis Foundation for the Walk to Cure Arthritis!

Enjoy the beautiful Arizona weather by joining Team TOCA, Dr. Earl Feng (Orthopedic Surgeon, Arthritis & Total Joint Reconstruction) and the Arthritis Foundation in the Annual Walk for the Cure, Saturday May 5th, 2018 at the Phoenix Zoo! Dr. Feng is not only a TOCA Physician & Surgeon but also serves as a Board Member for the Arthritis Foundation!

At TOCA, each of us has an important role in helping the more than 1.2 million Arizonans living with arthritis including many our patients, our colleagues, and more than 6,000 children in Arizona alone. TOCA is proud to continue our support the 2018 Arizona Walk to Cure Arthritis on May 5th at the Phoenix Zoo. As a sponsor of the Walk to Cure Arthritis, our goal is to help more people with arthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation is the Champion of Yes for patients with arthritis who are being told “no” a lot. No, there isn’t a cure. No, you cannot play sports. No, you cannot pick-up your grandchild.

Here is how you can help!

• Through funding critical research for osteoarthritis to find better treatments and ultimately a cure.
• Giving kids living with arthritis the opportunity to attend Camp Cruz to meet other kids living with arthritis.
• Supporting programs like the Live Yes network for people in our community struggling with pain, connecting them with others with arthritis.
• Getting a patient get back on their feet so they can walk their dog.
• Helping a grandparent alleviate back pain so they can pick up their grandchild.
• Saying “YES” to a patient today!

The event features a three-mile and one-mile course, with arthritis information and activities for the entire family!

Let’s raise funds to find a cure for arthritis, then come together to support each other and walk! Every step counts, every dollar matters!  The Arthritis Foundation’s Walk to Cure Arthritis to help the more than 50 million Americans and 300,000 children with arthritis live better today and to keep the Arthritis Foundation’s promise of finding a cure for tomorrow. Be a Champion of Yes – join our team and raise funds to fight arthritis and find a cure, all while having A LOT OF FUN! If you aren’t able to join the team, we’d appreciate your donation to help reach our goal.

Click here to learn more about this event, join Team TOCA and/or Donate Today! Team TOCA

Event Location:
The Phoenix Zoo
455 N Galvin Pkwy
Phoenix , AZ 85008
Event Schedule:
Event Registration Starts 5/5/2017 6:30 am
Event Registration Ends 5/5/2017 8:00 am
Event Starts 5/5/2017 7:30 am
Event Ends 5/5/2017 10:00 am
Fees:
Walk to Cure Arthritis Registration: No Fees
Event Registration

To Learn more about Dr. Feng and TOCA visit: www.tocamd.com or call 602-277-6211

#Arthritisfoundation #WalktoCureArthritis #Results #Recovery #Relife#TOCAMD #TOCA #ArthritisPhxWalk #PhoenixZoo

Halloween Safety Tips from your OrthoDocs

Halloween is known as a favorite holiday, full of spooky fun and lots of candy. However, it can also present many opportunities for injury, as we take to the streets in pursuit of trick-or-treating goodies. Let’s talk Halloween Safety!

Monsters and aliens are not the only scary things out on October 31st. Trips and falls (or even more serious accidents) can put a damper on Halloween festivities. But a little preparation and thought can go a long way in protecting you and your children from harm.Pedestrian injuries are the most common type of Halloween injury. There are four to five times more pedestrian fatalities on Halloween versus the average for the rest of the year.

Other common Halloween injuries are trips and falls from costumes that are too big or obstruct sight; burns from highly-flammable costumes; and cuts while carving pumpkins.

The following tips taken from the American Academy of Pediatrics and physicians at TOCA offers the following tips for Halloween safety:

Halloween Safety Tips from your OrthoDocs!

REMEMBER: The main thing to do is use your own common sense and rust your parental instincts. If it doesn’t feel safe or comfortable, then it probably isn’t; go with your gut, follow our advice, and keep things safe this Halloween.

Choosing a Costume

Everyone loves dressing up at Halloween, children most of all. And it’s so sweet seeing them go from door-to-door trick or treating locally – who doesn’t take a million pictures before they go out with their little buckets? But sadly it can be dangerous for some children, as there have been a number of well-documented accidents where children’s Halloween costumes were set alight by accident.

Don’t worry too much though- there are lots of things you can do to mitigate the risk. You need to make sure what you buy is as safe as it can be from candles, fires and sparks, and you need to brief them on what to look out for, as well as what to do if the worst happens. We’re sure everyone will stay safe this Halloween, but you can be super sure if you read our fullproof guide to Halloween costume safety!

1. Use flame-resistant materials

As it’s Halloween, your child is very likely to be near candles, lanterns, and other decorative flames. Polyester and nylon are both flame-resistant materials, for example. When picking out your child’s costume always look for the label “flame-resistant” and make sure there is a visible CE mark.

REMEMBER: It’s safer to choose costumes made up of one layer of heavier materials as opposed to flimsy, layered, frilly ones. Thinner materials made up of lots of layers tend to burn much faster because more oxygen can get to the fire.

2. Pick a costume that’s made out of ONE material

Costumes that are made of one single type of material will often catch fire more slowly than those that are made out of lots of different materials.

If a costume is made of a variety of different fabrics, they can all react to a flame in a different way and, in some cases, can fuel the fire even faster.

3. Wear clothes UNDER the costume

Not only because it can go from warm to chilly here in Arizona when you’re trick or treating but also because it’s safer. Speaking about costumes, Kevin O’Neill from the Fire and Rescue Service said: “These are toys. Toys have a lower fire safety requirement. They have a lower fire safety standard. Just be aware of that and take measures.

One of those measures is to ensure children are wearing clothes under the costume.

They should be wearing woollen tights for example or a woollen jumper or jeans. That way it gives some protection that if they were to catch fire you’ve still got a barrier between the garment and your skin.”

4. Ditch the capes

Capes are very common on Halloween costumes, but – as proven by Madonna – they can pose a tripping hazard even to adults. More worryingly, however, is the fact that they pose a strangulation risk.

And on that note…

Avoid costumes and costume jewellery that is tight around the throat. Avoid anything, especially cords and sashes, that tie around the neck.

5. Read the label on face paints

If you are buying face paints then they should be FDA approved. Always look for a CE mark and always check the packaging displays clear ingredients in English.

And remember that the words ‘non-toxic’ doesn’t always mean it will be safe for your skin. Do an allergy test on a small patch of skin before using on you or your childs face.

No matter how tired you are following a night of fun, make sure you remove any costume makeup before bedroom to prevent possible skin irritation.

6. Keep an eye on accessories and props

Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible. If you think if you, a friend or your child would be hurt if their was a fall on the accessory, be it a wand or a sword, then do not wear it.

Again, look for a visible CE mark when purchasing.

7. Be careful with masks

You want to make sure that a mask fits well (so that it’s comfortable and doesn’t slip), that the eye holes are big enough to see out of, and that you can breathe comfortably while wearing it.

8. Remember to stay visible

Choose bright and light coloured costumes and clothing wherever possible. If you or your kids are heading out trick-or-treating or an outdoor party, carry a glow stick, and buy reflective tape and attach it to your/ your childs costume. This will ensure that motorists can see your child – and that you can keep an eye on them!

9. Don’t forget the shoes!

Related imageWear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. You don’t need to wear “red-carpet starlet” high heels; leave them at home and pop on sturdy footwear that you won’t trip in.

And, on the note, remember that many shoes that come with costumes are NOT meant for outdoor use; make sure your child is wearing shoes that fit properly and have proper grip to them, so that they don’t slip and fall. Also so they can comfortably survive the night walking around in their shoes.

10. And of course, make sure it fits

Do not purchase costumes that are flimsy, billowing, too big, or that drag on the ground; not only will this be a tripping hazard, but it could also get caught up in Halloween candles.

A Few Additional Halloween Safety Precautions:

While Out Trick or Treating

  • Be safe, be seen. To easily see and be seen, children should also carry flashlights.
  • Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child.
  • All children should WALK, not run, from house to house and use the sidewalk, if available, rather than walk in the street.
  • Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks (where they exist), and do not cross between parked cars.
  • Parents should plan out the trick-or-treating route – best to stay on well lit roads with sidewalks.
  • Children should be cautioned against running out from between parked cars or across lawns and yards where ornaments, furniture, or clotheslines present dangers.
  • For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car’s headlights. Bags or sacks should also be light colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle, and sporting goods stores.
  • Bring a flashlight and cell phone with you.

Choose Safe Houses

  • Children should go only to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome.
  • Children should not enter homes or apartments unless they are accompanied by an adult.
  • People expecting trick-or-treaters should remove anything that could be an obstacle from lawns, steps and porches.

Image result for jack-o-lanternSmart Jack-o’-lanterns

  • Use a flashlight, battery tea light or flameless candle to light your jack-o’’-lantern.

When carving pumpkins:

    • Carve pumpkins on stable, flat surfaces with good lighting.
    • Have children draw a face on the outside of the pumpkin, then let an adult do the cutting.
    • Place lighted pumpkins away from curtains and other flammable objects, and do not leave lit pumpkins unattended

 

RESOURCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics
http://www.aap.org

 

#TOCA #TOCAMD #Halloween #HalloweenSafety #KidSafe #MyOrthoDoc #HalloweenFun #Trickortreat #Halloweencostume #Holidays #Celebrate #HappyHalloween

7 Safety Tips for an Injury-Free Labor Day

Labor Day is synonymous with the end of summer, and the long holiday weekend is upon us. Labor Day is typically packed with celebratory events like backyard barbecues, final excursions to the lake, picnics at the park, and beach parties. But even festive events like these present hazards you should be aware of.

Whether you’re planning a final summer outing or staying home to wrap up summer chores, we want you and your family to enjoy a safe close to the season. To help you do so, we’ve gathered these helpful Labor Day weekend safety tips.

1. Road-trip, anyone?

If you’re planning a weekend excursion make sure you’re well rested, plan for frequent rest stops, and divide driving duties if possible. You should also have your car checked by a registered mechanic to avoid a break down on the road. Don’t forget to pack a vehicle emergency kit that contains items like a flashlight, jumper cables, a tool kit, tire gauge and flares.

Tips for Safe Travel

  • Carry an emergency supply kit in your trunk.
  • Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive.
  • Buckle up and observe speed limits.
  • Don’t drink and drive.

 

2. Festive Fireworks

fireworks1They are fun, flashy and festive, but many of us overlook the injury fireworks can cause. The National Safety Council reports that children 10 to 14 years of age are at three times the risk of being injured by fireworks than the population as a whole. Even sparklers can inflict serious injury. If you choose to use fireworks be sure you only light one at a time, maintain the recommended distance from spectators, and never allow any horseplay while fireworks are being set up or ignited. If a firework malfunctions, don’t re-light it. Above all, never allow young children handle fireworks and never use fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

3. Alcohol in Moderation

Alcohol and parties often go hand in hand, but beware that drinking impacts your decision making, coordination, reaction time and vision which makes you vulnerable to a number of hazards. If you plan on consuming alcohol, setting a limit on how much you will consume. And the time to set your limit is before you arrive at the neighborhood cookout. Once you set an alcohol limit, stick to it. Drink one glass of water in between alcoholic drinks to help keep hydrated and pace your alcohol consumption. If you drink more than you planned, ask for help getting home. And keep in mind that operating a motor vehicle after just a drink or two is dangerous.

4. Boating Safety

wakeboardingBoating is a quintessential Labor Day event. Make sure you keep it safe by ensuring the boat is in good mechanical condition, and carries all safety equipment including personal flotation devices, an emergency kit and a first aid kit. Keep away from restricted areas, be sure that you’re familiar with the rules of the water, and tell someone on land where you’re heading and what time you expect to return. For more boating safety tips, read “7 Tips for Avoiding Danger on a Boat.”

Tips for Safe Swimming

  • Check weather and water conditions beforehand and throughout the day.
  • Always swim with a buddy in a designated swimming area supervised by a lifeguard.
  • Provide constant supervision to children in or near the water and always stay within arm’s reach of young children and inexperienced swimmers while they are in the water.
  • Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

5. Conquering Outdoor Chores

Lots of us look forward to relaxing on Labor Day weekend, but if you’re tackling outdoor chores instead, we hope you’ll keep these safety tips in mind. Before you use any power tool make sure the cord isn’t frayed, that it is free of cuts and appears to be in good condition. If you need an extension cord be sure it is designed for outdoor use. Additionally, be sure that the extension cord’s amperage can handle the demand of the power tool you’re using. Cleaning gutters, trimming trees and painting are just a few common outdoor chores that require a ladder, and ladders are notoriously dangerous. Only use a ladder when there’s someone else at home and if you’re using a metal ladder be careful that it does not come into contact with an electrical source.

6. Prevent Food-borne Illnesses

grilling
What’s a Labor Day holiday without lots of food? Picnics, barbeques, and neighborhood pot-lucks are plentiful and that means so is the chance of food-borne illness. To minimize the chance of cross-contamination, wash your hands before and after you touch raw meat. Dry your hands on paper towels instead of cloth towels, and discard immediately. Refrigerate meat that’s waiting to hit the grill. Never leave food that requires refrigeration (think potato salad, coleslaw or chicken salad) out in the sun. Instead, set the item the bowl is in on top of a pan filled with ice, and serve from a shaded area. Return the item to the refrigerator as soon as party-goers have been served.

Tips for Safe Grilling

  • Keep the grill away from the house, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

 

7. Hydration and sun protection

Soda and juice might be a bit tastier, but you should hydrate your body with water instead. If you’re having a party, set out a few tubs full of bottled water and encourage your guests to drink small amounts often. Remember the golden rule: If your urine is yellow, you’re not drinking enough water.

It’s the end of summer, but in many parts of the country the sun is still raging. Apply sunscreen before you head out in the sun and reapply as necessary. Remember that the elderly and the young have especially sensitive skin and don’t forget that some medications can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

Whether you’re splashing in a pool, enjoying the ultimate picnic or knocking out those household chores, we want you to stay safe this Labor Day weekend. Remember: An accident is never planned. But keeping out safety tips in mind may help prevent one.

 

The American Red Cross First Aid App for smart phones and tablets provides users with expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores and at redcross.org/mobileapps.

The Team at TOCA wish you and your family health and happiness as we celebrate this Labor Day.

To learn more about TOCA, our Physician Team, or to schedule an appointment call our dedicated TOCA Team at: 602-277-6211!

 

If you enjoyed this article you may also be interested in reading: 10 Common Summer Injuries, Arizona Hiking Tips, Protecting Yourself from Dehydration and Fishing Safety & Boating

#Injuryprevention #Recovery #Results #Relief #MyOrthoDoc #TOCA #TOCAMD #LaborDay

HUDDLE UP ABOUT SPORTS SAFETY

BACK TO SCHOOL, BACK TO SPORTS, TIME TO HUDDLE UP ABOUT SPORTS SAFETY

For many kids, back to school means back to sports. Youth sports are, and should always be, a valuable experience, filled with challenges, competition and fun. But too many kids are stuck on the sidelines because of an injury that is preventable. It is that time of year to huddle up about sports safety!

Every year, millions of teenagers participate in high school sports. An injury to a high school athlete can be a significant disappointment for the teen, the family, and the coaches. The pressure to play can lead to decisions that may lead to additional injury with long-term effects. High school sports injuries can cause problems that require surgery as an adult, and may lead to arthritis later in life.

When a sports injury occurs, it is important to quickly seek proper treatment. To ensure the best possible recovery, athletes, coaches, and parents must follow safe guidelines for returning to the game.

The Adolescent Athlete

Teenage athletes are injured at about the same rate as professional athletes, but injuries that affect high school athletes are often different from those that affect adult athletes. This is largely because high school athletes are often still growing.

Growth is generally uneven: Bones grow first, which pulls at tight muscles and tendons. This uneven growth pattern makes younger athletes more susceptible to muscle, tendon, and growth plate injuries.

Types of High School Sports Injuries

Injuries among young athletes fall into two basic categories: overuse injuries and acute injuries. Both types include injuries to the soft tissues (muscles and ligaments) and bones.

Acute Injuries

Acute injuries are caused by a sudden trauma. Examples of trauma include collisions with obstacles on the field or between players. Common acute injuries among young athletes include contusions (bruises), sprains (a partial or complete tear of a ligament), strains (a partial or complete tear of a muscle or tendon), and fractures.

A twisting force to the lower leg or foot is a common cause of ankle fractures, as well as ligament injuries (sprains).

Reproduced and modified with permission from The Body Almanac. © American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2003.

Overuse Injuries

Not all injuries are caused by a single, sudden twist, fall, or collision. Overuse injuries occur gradually over time, when an athletic activity is repeated so often, parts of the body do not have enough time to heal between playing.

Overuse injuries can affect muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, and growth plates. For example, overhand pitching in baseball can be associated with injuries to the elbow. Swimming is often associated with injuries to the shoulder. Gymnastics and cheerleading are two common activities associated with injuries to the wrist and elbow.

Stress fractures are another common overuse injury in young athletes. Bone is in a constant state of turnover—a process called remodeling. New bone develops and replaces older bone. If an athlete’s activity is too great, the breakdown of older bone occurs rapidly, and the body cannot make new bone fast enough to replace it. As a result, the bone is weakened and stress fractures can occur—most often in the shinbone and bones of the feet.

Catastrophic Sports Injuries

Many sports, especially contact sports, have inherent dangers that put young athletes at special risk for severe injuries. Even with rigorous training and proper safety equipment, children are at risk for severe injuries to the head and neck with damage to the brain or spinal cord.

Catastrophic injuries have been reported in a wide range of sports, including ice hockey, wrestling, football, swimming, soccer, pole vaulting, cheerleading, and gymnastics. It is important for coaches, parents, and athletes to be aware of the guidelines and regulations developed for each sport to prevent head and neck injury.

Concussion

Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries. They are caused by a blow to the head or body that results in the brain moving rapidly back and forth inside the skull.

Although some sports have higher instances of concussion—such as football, ice hockey, and soccer—concussions can happen in any sport or recreational activity.

In 2010, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that young athletes with concussions be evaluated and cleared by a doctor before returning to sports. The American Academy of Neurology issued a similar statement, and stressed that doctors who clear athletes for return to sports should be trained in managing and assessing sports concussions.

Growth Plate Injuries

Growth plates are areas of developing cartilage tissue near the ends of long bones. When a child becomes full-grown, the growth plates harden into solid bone.

Because growth plates are the last portion of bones to harden (ossify), they are vulnerable to fracture. Growth plates regulate and help determine the length and shape of adult bone, therefore, injuries to the growth plate can result in disturbances to bone growth and bone deformity.

Growth plate injuries occur most often in contact sports like football or basketball and in high impact sports like gymnastics.

 

Prompt Medical Attention

Whether an injury is acute or due to overuse, a high school athlete who develops a symptom that persists or that affects his or her athletic performance should be examined by a doctor. Untreated injuries could lead to permanent damage or disability.

Some athletes may downplay their symptoms in order to continue playing. Coaches and parents should be aware of the more common signs of injury, such as pain with activity, changes in form or technique, pain at night, and decreased interest in practice.

Doctor Examination

During the examination, the doctor will ask about how the injury occurred, the symptoms, and will discuss the athlete’s medical history. During the physician examination, the doctor will look for points of tenderness, as well as range of motion.

If necessary, the doctor may recommend imaging tests, such as x-rays or other tests, to evaluate the bones and soft tissues.

Treatment

Treatment will depend upon the severity of the injury, and may include a combination of physical therapy, strengthening exercises, and bracing. More serious injuries may require surgery.

 

Return to Play

A player’s injury must be completely healed before he or she returns to sports activity.

  • In case of a joint problem, the player must have no pain, no swelling, full range of motion, and normal strength.
  • In case of concussion, the player must have no symptoms at rest or with exercise, and should be cleared by the appropriate medical provider.

Media stories about the early return to competition by professional athletes following injury create the impression that any athlete with proper treatment can return to play at the same ability level, or even better.

It is important for players, parents, and coaches to understand that depending on the type of injury and treatment required, the young athlete may not be able to return to the game at the same level of play—no matter how much effort is put into injury rehabilitation.

 

Prevention

Many high school sports injuries can be prevented through proper conditioning, training, and equipment.

High school athletes require sport specific training to prevent injury. Many injuries can be prevented with regular conditioning that begins prior to the formal sports season. Injuries often occur when athletes suddenly increase the duration, intensity, or frequency of their activity. Young athletes who are out of shape at the start of the season should gradually increase activity levels and slowly build back up to a higher fitness level.

Using proper technique for the position being played is also key to preventing injury. Proper equipment—from the right shoes to safety gear—is essential. In addition, injuries can be prevented when athletes understand and follow the rules of the game, and display good sportsmanship.

Because many young athletes are focusing on just one sport and are training year-round, doctors are seeing an increase in overuse injuries. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has partnered with STOP Sports Injuries to help educate parents, coaches, and athletes about how to prevent overuse injuries. Specific tips to prevent overuse injuries include:

  • Limit the number of teams in which your child is playing in one season. Athletes who play on more than one team are especially at risk for overuse injuries.
  • Do not allow your child to play one sport year-round—taking regular breaks and playing other sports is essential to skill development and injury prevention.

As we begin the new school year, Safe Kids is teaming up with Johnson & Johnson to keep kids healthy and injury-free so they can reach their full potential. We conducted a survey of parents, coaches and young athletes to explore how the current culture of sports may be leading to unnecessary injuries, and how that culture needs to change.

Here are three ways to get started.

  • Put an end to dirty play. One in four young athletes reported it is normal to commit hard fouls and play rough to “send a message” during a game. This norm leads to a disturbing number of injuries: 33 percent of athletes report being hurt as the result of “dirty play” from an opponent. Sports teach valuable lessons and should be competitive and entertaining but we have to move away from a “winning at all costs” mentality that is actually detrimental to the health and development of our young athletes.
  • Let’s give coaches the training they need and want. One in four coaches say they don’t take any specific actions to prevent sports injuries. Less than half of coaches say they have received certification on how to prevent and recognize sports injuries. Shouldn’t there be more training for coaches to ensure that they are well versed in the proper techniques for top performance and injury prevention?
  • Teach young athletes to speak up when they are injured.About 42 percent of players reported they have hidden or downplayed an injury during a game so they could keep playing. We can remove the terms “taking one for the team”, “suck it up” and “playing through an injury” from the dialogue. At the end of the day, young players must feel it’s OK to tell coaches, parents and other players that they’ve been hurt and it’s time to sit it out.

Changing the culture in sports isn’t about limiting kids. It’s about creating an atmosphere where our young athletes can compete, have fun and reach their full potential. Let’s get the conversation going. Working together, we can keep our kids active, strong and safe so they can enjoy the sports they love for a lifetime.

 

If you are injured the Team of Orthopedic Physicians and Orthopedic Sports Medicine Physicians here at TOCA are here to help! To learn more or schedule an appointment call: 602-277-6211.

 

Learn more at safekids.org. and STOP Sports Injuries 

Additional TOCA articles to consider reading: Knee Injuries, Ankle Sprains and Shoulder Injury Prevention tips! 

#Recovery #Results #Relief #TOCA #TOCAMD #STOPSportsInjuries #Safekids #MyOrthoDoc #SportsInjury #SportsMedicine

Backpack Safety!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]When you move your child’s backpack after he or she drops it at the door, does it feel like it contains 40 pounds of rocks? Maybe you’ve noticed your child struggling to put it on, bending forward while carrying it, or complaining of tingling or numbness. If you’ve been concerned about the effects that extra weight might have on your child’s still-growing body, your instincts are correct. Backpacks that are too heavy can cause a lot of problems for kids, like back and shoulder pain, and poor posture. Did you know that according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, injuries from heavy backpacks result in more than 7,000 emergency room visits per year. Sprains, strains, and “overuse” injuries were among the top complaints.

When selecting a backpack, look for:

  • An ergonomic design
  • The correct size: never wider or longer than your child’s torso and never hanging more than 4 inches below the waist
  • Padded back and shoulder straps
  • Hip and chest belts to help transfer some of the weight to the hips and torso
  • Multiple compartments to better distribute the weight
  • Compression straps on the sides or bottom to stabilize the contents
  • Reflective material

Backpack Safety Tips:

  • Your backpack should weigh only 15% – 20% of your total weight
  • Use both shoulder straps to keep the weight of the backpack better distributed
  • Tighten the straps to keep the load closer to the back
  • Organize items and pack heavier things low and towards the center
  • Remove items if the backpack is too heavy and only carry items necessary for the day
  • Lift properly by bending at the knees when picking up a backpack

Remember: A roomy backpack may seem like a good idea, but the more space there is to fill, the more likely your child will fill it. Make sure your child uses both straps when carrying the backpack. Using one strap shifts the weight to one side and causes muscle pain and posture problems.

Help your child determine what is absolutely necessary to carry. If it’s not essential, leave it at home.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

 

If you or your child is experiencing neck or back pain the expert Physicians at TOCA and the dedicated staff are here to help! Call 602-277-6211 to schedule your appointment today!

 

#Recovery #Results #Relief #BackpackSaftey #MyOrthoDoc #BacktoSchool

Protect you and your Children from Injury this Fourth of July Holiday!

Protect you and your Children from Injury this Fourth of July Holiday: Celebrating our Independence with a Boom has been a tradition for many families for years over the July 4th Holiday season. Unfortunately every year thousands of children and adults are needlessly injured by not following basic fireworks safety tips. With the proper respect fireworks deserve, everyone can safely enjoy the show.

Children are most frequently injured by fireworks. Most are under the age of 15. You may think firecrackers or other types of explosive or rocket variety fireworks are most responsible for their injuries. In fact, the biggest risk of injury comes from sparklers. Sparklers account for roughly 16% of all firework related injuries. If you consider children alone, sparklers account for about 1/3 of all injuries and over half of the injuries to children under 5.

In order to prevent children from being injured by sparklers, it is important to consider following some very simple safety tips.

1. Never let children handle, light or play with sparklers without adult supervision.
2. Don’t let your child handle or light more than one sparkler at a time.
3. Don’t pass of a lit sparkler to someone else, have them hold the unlit sparkler while you light it.
4. Don’t hold your child in your arms while you or the child is using sparklers.
5. Keep your distance: its recommended children stay at least 6 feet apart from one another while handling sparklers.
6. Instruct your child to hold the sparkler away from their body keeping them at arm’s length.
7. Avoid waving the sparklers wildly through the air as children frequently lose hold of the sparkler causing injury to themselves or others around them.
8. Wear proper clothing and footwear. Many injuries occur when an burnt out sparkler is dropped on the ground causing foot burns or puncture wounds from stepping on them.
9. Once the sparkler flame goes out, the metal rod should be dropped directly into a bucket of water. The extinguished sparkler and metal rod remain hot for a long time.
10. Keep your fireworks out of the reach of children. Lock them up. Kids are creative and can easily find a source of fire to ignite fireworks, i.e. a lit candle.

Above all, use common sense, pay attention to children, and if alcohol is involved in an adult party with children, designate someone to remain sober and responsible while any and all fireworks are in use. Hopefully these simple tips can help you and your family avoid an unwanted trip to the emergency department, or worse yet, a permanent and disfiguring injury.

The Hand Surgeons at TOCA, as well as the rest of the Physicians and Staff with you and your family health and happiness as we celebrate with pride, our Independence Day.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment call our dedicated TOCA Team at: 602-277-6211!

#Recovery #Results #Relief #4thofJuly #IndependanceDay #FireworkSaftey #InjuryPrevention #4thofJulyInjuryPrevention #TOCA #TOCAMD