Young Lacrosse Players Face New Injury Risks
Apr 3, 2013 - 3:18:14 PM
Although it's considered a relatively safe sport-the male version is a contact sport, the female is not-lacrosse is producing an increasing number of traumatic knee injuries in young players of both sexes, Dr. Khabie says. Specifically, kids are sustaining injuries to the ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, which is the main stabilizer of the knee joint. It can get sprained or torn when an athlete sprints, pivots, or plants a foot, all of which are standard moves in any lacrosse game.
Moreover, there's new research that shows a rise in ACL injuries in preadolescent players, says Dr. Khabie. This is news, he explains, because ACL tears were all but unheard of in children before now. In the days before there was a lacrosse league in every town, a child who sustained a twisting fall or other trauma to the knee joint typically would fracture his or her tibial spine, the small bone that extends from the tibia (shinbone) and anchors the ACL. That's because the ACL is actually stronger than the bone in kids whose skeletons are still growing, he explains. But between 1999 and 2013-roughly the same time that the sport of lacrosse really took off-ACL tears increased at ten times the rate of tibial spine fractures.
Tips for Minimizing the Risks
To keep kids safe on the lacrosse field, Dr. Khabie offers the following tips:
Victor Khabie, M.D., F.A.A.O.S., F.A.C.S. is a specialist in sports medicine and a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon with Somers Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine. Dr. Khabie is chief of Surgery and Sports Medicine, and Co-Director of the Orthopedic and Spine Institute, Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco and an assistant clinical professor in the department of orthopaedic surgery at the New York University School of Medicine.
Somers Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Group, founded in 1988, is one of the most comprehensive and specialized practices in the region. www.somersortho.com
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