Don’t Ignore Upper Extremity Injuries In Soccer

With fall soccer seasons now getting underway in the U.S. it’s important to note that upper extremity injuries happen more often than you probably think. Published studies in all age groups, including adults, show injury rates in the upper extremities at about 20% of all injuries.

In some ways the upper extremity injuries tend to be more “serious” than lower extremity injuries, with a large percentage of fractures (broken bones) and dislocations. Many will require urgent treatment in the emergency department. The overwhelming majority occurs from falls rather than player to player contact.

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Teenage Growth Spurt: A Risky Time For Soccer Injury In Males

Parents and coaches of young athletes generally have a sense that injuries happen more frequently in the teenage years than they did when the players were younger. A recently published scientific study following young male soccer players at an elite Dutch soccer academy shows that the injury risk is quite high.

In this well conducted study the researchers found a substantially higher injury burden in the U16 (48%), U15 (28%), and U17 (21%) age groups compared to the mean. The six months following peak height velocity were identified as the riskiest time period. Coaches of male players in these age groups should pay particular attention to training load, early intervention for injury, and proper monitoring of return to play.

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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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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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Coming Back From: Shoulder Separation (Egypt’s Eyes Are On Mo Salah)

This week I’ll offer up some pre-World Cup injury recovery info, inspired by Egypt/Liverpool brilliant playmaker Mo Salah. There’s been much speculation about the nature of Salah’s recent shoulder injury, and I haven’t been able to find a clear diagnosis in publicly available sources. But if I had to guess (and this is a pure guess), given the way the injury occurred and the evaluation from the physician in the accompanying photo, I’d say he likely sustained a shoulder separation.

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Start ACL Injury Prevention Programs When The Players Are Young

I’ve written and spoken about how much I believe in the value of the FIFA 11 program to reduce ACL and lower extremity injury rates, and make better soccer players. In fact the value of the FIFA 11 has been demonstrated in other sports too. I honestly can’t see why any coach wouldn’t implement this program. It’s part of the regular warmup you’d be doing anyway, and it’s better for your players. Please do it.

ACL tears tend to happen more frequently in teenagers rather than in younger players. Does that mean you should wait until the players are teenagers to start the FIFA 11? This recently published study suggests that the younger players will have greater improvements in body mechanics than the teenagers. The key study result: start the FIFA 11 program in the younger age groups.

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Hip Pointers

By Dev K. Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University Key Points: The term “hip pointer” refers to a bruise of the muscles and soft tissue attachments to the top of the pelvis bone, near the area where your shorts or pants would be A hip pointer occurs…

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On-Field Injury Recognition: If Not Now, Then When?

By Dev K. Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University Key Points: A recently published study provides a 25 year data analysis of emergency department visits for injuries from youth soccer and shows a year to year significant increase in injuries of all types, especially concussion In spite…

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Ban Youth Tackle Football? Provocative NYT Article Is Worth A Read.

By Dev Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University Key Points: Author Gregg Easterbrook recently published an excellent thought-provoking article in which he stated the risks of brain injury might be significantly reduced by banning tackle football until at least age 12 One cited scientific study showed that…

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Injury Recognition Matters. US Club Soccer Partners With Sideline Sports Doc To Bring Injury Recognition Training To Coaches.

By Dev Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University   Brian Cole, M.D. Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush Head Team Physician, Chicago Bulls (NBA)   Tal David, M.D. Synergy Specialists Medical Group, San Diego, CA Head Team Physician, San Diego Chargers (NFL)   Bert Mandelbaum,…

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