Pandora’s Box Of Gene Editing Is Now Open

I’ve written previously about a remarkable new technology called CRISPR and the promise it holds for leading to genetic cures for disease, and possibly gene editing for performance enhancement. With recent news that a Chinese scientist used the technique to produce genetically modified twin girls, we’ve entered a very real era of human genetic manipulation.

The question is whether scientists will proceed responsibly, or whether some rogue individuals will hurtle headlong into ethically questionable areas. Do we aim to cure previously incurable diseases, make designer babies, or find new ways for athletes to enhance performance without getting caught?

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When Can I Play Again: Finger Fracture

A broken finger (“finger fracture”) is a pretty common sports injury, often seen with direct impact to the tip of the finger or from a twisting injury. It’s easy to dismiss these as “minor” injuries, but all finger fractures need to be managed properly to allow for normal function to the hand. Mismanaged fractures can lead to significant issues with grip and hand function. Fortunately, proper management of finger fractures will typically allow return to sport in 3-6 weeks, depending on specific factors.

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Save Your Ankle With An Ankle Brace

We see a lot of ankle sprains in our clinical practices, and if they make their way to the orthopedic surgeon’s office it generally means it was a significant injury. Severe ankle sprains can take many weeks to properly heal, can be costly to treat, and can place the athlete at risk for future ankle sprains. What then can we do try reduce the number of ankle sprains, or reduce the severity of an ankle sprain if one does happen?

One simple and cost effective option is to wear a lace-up ankle brace. These braces are effective in stabilizing the ankle in side-to-side and landing movements (the type of movements typically risky for ankle sprains) but allow excellent movement for straight ahead activities such as sprinting and jumping.

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Changing The Cheerleading Basket-Toss Rule: A Huge Win For Cheerleaders

Rules changes are among the most effective ways to make a sport safer for the participants, often immediately. I’ve written previously about various rules changes that have made youth sports safer. At the adult collegiate and professional level we see safety related rules changes in almost all contact and collision based sports.  One sport that often doesn’t get the attention it deserves from a safety standpoint is cheerleading.

In acrobatic cheerleading, injuries unfortunately happen with some frequency, and the basket toss was a stunt with catastrophic injuries possible. A rule change started in 2006 has shown a dramatic reduction in catastrophic cheerleading injuries.

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Move More, Sit Less

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee of the Department of Health and Human Services, a shocking 80% of US adults and adolescents are not physically active enough. The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans was published yesterday in the Journal of the American Medical Association and comes up with a simple conclusion that all of us should live by: move more, sit less.

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Revisiting the Artificial Turf vs. Natural Grass Injury Debate

I’ve written previously about injury rates on FieldTurf versus natural grass and in 2011 one well conducted study showed a substantially higher injury rate on FieldTurf. I revisited this issue in 2013 when my partner at Stanford Dr. Jason Dragoo presented results of his study of NCAA athletes with ACL tears and found a substantially higher incidence of ACL tears in games played on field turf. Is this still the case with the newer generation of artificial turf surfaces?

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How Parents Can Monitor Their Child For Overuse Injuries In-Season

During the recent US Club Soccer webinar I participated in, I was asked this question by the host:

“What advice would you give to a parent of a youth soccer player regarding being proactive or reactive to injuries and overall health?”

 The question above was specific to soccer but the point I make here is applicable to all sports. By far and away the area where we can have the greatest impact with a sport that’s in-season is in monitoring for overuse injuries.

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Five Player Safety Tips To Put In Place Now

Today’s post is directed towards coaches, but parents can benefit from these tips too. Maybe your sport is football, or soccer, or cross-country. Whatever it is, you’re thick in to your fall season, focusing on practices, competition and hopefully aiming for playoffs. In spite of everything you’re busy with there are still some important steps you can take now to make sure you’re performing at your best. I recently participated in a webinar with US Club Soccer, and adapted here for any sport are five areas to revisit now:

Monitor your players’ training loads
Be aware of weather safety, especially lightning and cold weather
Take 15 minutes to review your on-field injury recognition protocols
Make sure you’re up to speed on concussion evaluation
Use a good dynamic warmup, and if you’re a soccer team start using the FIFA 11+

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Sports Medicine Weekly- A Podcast That Gets It Right

By Dev K. Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University Key Points: Sports Medicine Weekly is an excellent podcast for any athletes or others with an interest in sports health The show is hosted by Dr. Brian Cole of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, and Steve Kashul, the radio…

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US Club Soccer Leading The Way In Player Health And Safety

In today’s post I’d like to highlight a webinar I participated in recently with US Club Soccer, which you can view here.  The focus of the webinar was on key aspects of player health and safety, from the perspective of immediate steps a team or coach can take while in-season. In the webinar, led by Ashley Lehr of US Club Soccer, we cover four areas. In coming weeks I’ll dig deeper into each of these areas in separate posts but here they are:

What can coaches do today to prevent injuries & keep players healthy?
What goals should a club have regarding the health and safety training for their coaches?
What advice would you give to a parent of a youth soccer player regarding being proactive or reactive to injuries and overall health? What could a parent encourage their child to do throughout the season?
What are some of the common misconceptions about player health at the different ages in youth soccer?

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