Posts Tagged ‘sports injury’

Concussions in Young Athletes – Live Chat on August 9, 2016

concussion260x200Is the peewee football phase too early to wonder about concussions? Maybe not. Concussion rates are rising sharply among U.S. kids and teens, researchers report, and concussion diagnoses more than doubled between 2007 and 2014. According to the CDC, more than 248,000 U.S. children and teens land in the emergency room each year because of a concussion sustained in sports or recreational activities, such as bicycling, football, basketball, soccer and from playground injuries.

If you have a young child or a student athlete who is participating in sports and want to learn more about how to prevent, detect and treat concussions, join us on Tuesday, August 9 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. for a live online chat to discuss the topic. Our host is Dr. Jeffrey Webb, pediatric sports medicine physician at Emory Sports Medicine Center. Dr. Webb will also discuss the laws that Georgia has passed targeting concussion in high school and younger athletes.

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About Dr. Webb

webb-jeffreyDr. Webb sees patients of all ages and abilities with musculoskeletal problems, but specializes in the care of pediatric and adolescent patients. He works hard to get players “back in the game” safely and as quickly as possible. During his training and practice he has provided medical coverage for division I college football and other sports, multiple high schools, ballet, the Rockettes, marathons, international track and field events, and the Special Olympics. He is a team physician for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and is also a consulting physician for several Atlanta area high schools, the Atlanta Dekalb International Olympic Training Center, Emory University, Oglethorpe University, Georgia Perimeter College and many other club sports teams.

He is active in the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and American Academy of Pediatrics professional societies and has given multiple lectures at national conferences as well as contributed to sports medicine text books.

Takeaways from the Sports Cardiology: Heart Health & Being Active Live Chat

sports-cardio-emailThanks to everyone who joined us Tuesday, January 26, for our live online chat on “Sports Cardiology: Heart Healthy & Being Active” hosted by Emory sports cardiologist, Jonathan H. Kim, MD, and sports medicine physician, Neeru Jayanthi, MD.

We were thrilled with the number of people who registered and were able to participate in the chat. The response was so great that we had a few questions we were not able to answer so we have answered them below for your reference.

Question: How much exercise is safe if I have been diagnosed with a heart condition?

  • Answer from Dr. Kim: Discussing the appropriate “exercise prescription” for patients with heart conditions is one of the key elements of sports cardiology. Each “prescription” is patient specific and accounts for key elements in the patient’s history, cardiac condition, and results of cardiac testing. It is important to emphasize that, one, cardiac testing obtained is unique to each patient and their condition. Most testing will include, however, an EKG, imaging of the heart (echocardiogram), and functional exercise testing. Two, the “prescription” also takes into account the sports cardiologist and patient’s discussion weighing the risks vs. benefits of ongoing exercise and other key personal psychological aspects individual to each athletic patient. Thus, this is a very individualized discussion per athlete and per condition.

Question: Are energy drinks before you workout bad for your heart?

  • Answer from Dr. Kim: In general, high-energy drinks with caffeine carry the potential side effects related to caffeine. Many of these side effects are cardiovascular in nature (blood pressure and heart rhythm effects). In my practice, I generally discourage long-term use/ingestion of these high-energy beverages with caffeine if possible.

One of the questions from the live chat was too good not to share. See below:

Question: My 10 year old son wants to start playing football, but I’m concerned about the stories I see on the news about kids dropping dead on the field. His father’s family has a long history of heart disease. Does he need a heart screening before I let him play? Can his pediatrician screen him or should I bring him to a cardiologist/sports cardiologist?

  • Answer from Dr. Jayanthi: While it is devastating to hear these stories of sudden cardiac death during sports in children, fortunately these are exceedingly rare. It is very important to have an established relationship with your pediatrician or family physician to identify any risk factors prior to sports participation. If there are few risk factors and the appropriate heart screening questions and physical exam are done, there may not be any further need for evaluation.

However, if there are certain conditions in the family history, they may require referral to sports cardiology, such as sudden cardiac death and other conditions. We still do not have universal recommendations about getting EKG or echocardiograms prior to participation.

  • Answer from Dr. Kim: I agree with Dr. Jayanthi’s comments. In addition, it is critical to emphasize that many of the heart conditions that cause sudden cardiac death evolve unpredictably as we age. Therefore screening with heart tests in a 10 year old may not demonstrate evidence of a heart problem; however, that same 10 year old may actually have the genes for one of these heart diseases that cause sudden cardiac death. Therefore, as mentioned, the most important thing is to simply review family history questions, do an appropriate physical exam, and make sure there are no concerning clinical symptoms present in a young athlete screened prior to sports competition. The guidelines definitely recommend that any young athlete, regardless of age, should be screened by a physician with a detailed history and physical, only.

If you missed out on this live chat, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the chat transcript. You can also visit Emory Sports Cardiology and Emory Sports Medicine Center for more information.

Also, if you have additional questions for Dr. Kim or Dr. Jayanthi, please feel free to leave a comment in our comments area below.

Using Heat and Cold to Treat Injury

back-painIt’s hard to get through life without straining a muscle, spraining a ligament, or wrenching your back. When something hurts, ice and heat are often the go-to solutions, and using temperature therapy to complement medications and self-care can be very effective. But while both heat and cold can help reduce pain, it can be confusing to decide which is more appropriate depending on the injury. Our tips below give you the facts on when to use (and not use) heat and cold therapies.

When to Use Cold Therapy

Cold is best for acute pain caused by recent tissue damage is used when the injury is recent, red, inflamed, or sensitive. The inflammatory process is a healthy, normal, natural process that also can be incredibly painful. Here are some examples of common acute injuries:

  • Ankle sprain
  • Muscle or joint sprain
  • Red, hot or swollen body part
  • Acute pain after intense exercise
  • Inflammatory arthritis flare ups

When you sprain something, you damage blood vessels causing swelling to occur. Applying something cold causes the blood vessels to constrict, reducing the swelling and limiting bruising. Cold therapy can also help relieve any inflammation or pain that occurs after exercise, which is a form of acute inflammation. However, unlike heat, you should apply ice after going for a run to reduce post-exercise inflammation.

Tips for Applying Cold

  • Cold should only be applied locally and should never be used for more than 20 minutes at a time.
  • Apply cold immediately after injury or intense, high-impact exercise.
  • Always wrap ice packs in a towel before applying to an affected area.
  • Do not use ice in areas where you have circulation problems.

When to Use Heat Therapy

While ice is used to treat acute pain, heat therapy is typically used for chronic pain or conditions. Unlike cold therapy’s ability to constrict blood vessels, heat allows for our blood vessels to expand and our muscles to relax. That’s why overworked muscles respond best to heat. Heat stimulates blood flow, relaxes spasms, and soothes sore muscles. Some common chronic conditions that heat is used to treat are:

  • Muscle pain or soreness
  • Arthritis
  • Stiff joints

Tips for Applying Heat

  • Unlike cold therapy, heat should be applied before exercising. Applying heat after exercise can aggravate existing pain.
  • Protect yourself from direct contact with heating devices. Wrapping heat sources in a folded towel can help prevent burns.
  • Stay hydrated during heat therapy.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to heating sources.

Low Level Heat

If you find that heat helps ease your pain, try a continuous low-level heat wrap, available at most drugstores. You can wear a heat wrap for up to 8 hours, even while you sleep.

What to Avoid

Heat can make inflammation worse, and ice can make muscle tension and spasms worse, so be careful. Just like anything else, don’t overdo it! It’s normal for your skin to be a little pink after using cold and heat therapies, but if you start to notice any major skin irritation like hives, blisters or swelling, you should call your doctor. Otherwise, use whatever works for you depending on your condition. Both ice and heat can be very effective if used correctly!

About Emory Sports Medicine Center

At the Emory Sports Medicine Center, our experts specialize in advanced procedures to treat and repair a wide range of sports related injuries. Recently recognized as one of the nation’s TOP 50 orthopaedics programs, Emory Orthopaedics, Sports and Spine has 6 convenient locations across metro Atlanta, as well as 6 physical therapy locations. Click to learn more >>

About Dr. Mines

mines-brandonDr. Brandon Mines is board certified in both family practice and sports medicine. He has focused his clinical interest on sports injuries and conditions of the shoulder, elbow, wrist/hand, knee, foot and ankle. He is head team physician for the Women’s National Basketball Association’s (WNBA) Atlanta Dream, Decatur High School and a team physician for NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. He is also a rotational physician for United States soccer teams.

Dr. Mines enjoys giving talks and lectures regarding the prevention of sports injuries. In fact, as an active member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the American Society for Sports Medicine, Dr. Mines has attended and presented at various national conferences. Through the years, he has helped all levels of athletes return to the top of their game.

How to Prevent Summer Sports Injuries

Emory Sports Medicine patient Shawn Ploessl is a self proclaimed weekend warrior who sprained his ankle after playing football on the beach with some friends this summer. Many people are like Shawn in that when the weather starts getting nicer, we want to get outside and start working out or playing in a pickup game of baseball or football with friends. The problem is that most of us jump back into outdoor activities after being dormant over the winter and don’t properly warm-up or prepare our bodies for this increased activity.

In a recent news piece by CNN, Amadeus Mason, MD, Emory Sports Medicine physician, gives hints on what you can do to avoid injuries in the summer. Weekend warriors can start preparing themselves for the summer sports season by doing some exercising in the winter and early spring. Some activities that Dr. Mason recommends during the winter are running, indoor strengthening, and indoor cycling or spinning. Watch the entire piece below:

Related Resources:

About Dr. Mason

Dr. Amadeus MasonDr. Mason is an assistant professor in the Orthopaedics and Family Medicine departments at Emory University. He is board certified in Sports Medicine with a special interest in track and field, running injuries and exercise testing. He has been trained in diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound, orthopedic stem cell therapy and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. Dr. Mason is Team Physician for USA Track & Field, Tucker High School, and Georgia Tech Track and Field.

Dr. Mason is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the America Road Racing Medical Society, and the USA Track and Field Sports Medicine and Science Committee. He has been invited to be a resident physician at the US Olympic Training Center, a Sports Medicine consultant in his homeland of Jamaica and the Chief Medical Officer at multiple USA Track and Field international competitions. He is an annual speaker at the pre-race expo for PTRR, Publix marathon and Atlanta marathon commenting on a wide variety of topics related to athletics and running injuries.

Dr. Mason is an active member of the Atlanta running community. He attended Princeton University and was Captain of the track team. His other sports interests include soccer, college basketball and football, and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). A Decatur resident, he is married with three children.

Importance of Pre-Participation Sports Physicals for Student-Athletes

Children of all ages will benefit from participating in sports. Children can learn many life skills such as team work, time management, competition, conflict resolution as well help to improve social skills. While the benefits of exercising and participating in sports heavily outweigh the risks, it is very important to have every child undergo a pre – participation sports physical before beginning practice with that sport. Pre – participation exams are required for student-athletes who want to participate in middle school, high school or summer sports camps.

The pre-participation exam checks for the following:
• Identify any potential life-threatening conditions such as risk of sudden cardiac death.
• Evaluate athlete for conditions that may need treatment prior to participation.
• Identify any orthopedic conditions/concerns that may need physical therapy or other treatment prior to participation.
• Identify athletes who may be at higher risk for violence, substance abuse, STDs, depression, eating disorders, anemia, asthma, hypertension, etc.
• Evaluate history of concussion and determine if the student-athlete is still experiencing post-concussion symptoms if previously concussed.

Student athletes and their parents need to come to the physical prepared to open and honestly discuss all medical history. The doctors need all the information on the athlete’s medical history to be able to properly examine the athlete and clear him or her for participation in their sport or activity. This is not a time to try and hide past injuries or medical conditions.

Many schools perform pre- participation exams but if you would like a more thorough physical exam, visit your family’s personal physician or pediatrician. He or she may refer your child to a Sports Medicine specialists if he thinks the child needs further evaluation for orthopedic concerns or if the student has had a history of concussions.

Most student athletes are cleared for full participation in sports. Those who need more follow-up often times resume normal activities after ensuring they are cleared from all potential complications from participating in sports.

About Jeff Webb, MD

Jeff Webb, MD, is an assistant professor of orthopaedics at Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center. Dr. Webb started practicing at Emory in 2008 after completing a Fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. He is board certified in pediatrics and sports medicine. He is a team physician for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, and serves as the primary care sports medicine and concussion specialist for the team. He is also a consulting team physician for several Atlanta area high schools, the Atlanta Dekalb International Olympic Training Center, Emory University, Oglethorpe University, Georgia Perimeter College, and many other club sports.

Dr. Webb sees patients of all ages and abilities with musculoskeletal problems, but specializes in the care of pediatric and adolescent patients. He works hard to get players “back in the game” safely and as quickly as possible. He is currently active in the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and American Academy of Pediatrics professional societies and has given multiple lectures at national conferences as well as contributed to sports medicine text books.

About Emory Sports Medicine

The Emory Sports Medicine Center is a leader in advanced treatments for patients with orthopedic and sports-related injuries. From surgical sports medicine expertise to innovative therapy and athletic injury rehabilitation, our sports medicine physicians and specialists provide the most comprehensive treatment for athletic injuries in Atlanta and the state of Georgia. Constantly conducting research and developing new techniques, Emory sports medicine specialists are experienced in diagnosing and treating the full spectrum of sports injuries.

Our sports medicine patients range from professional athletes to those who enjoy active lifestyles and want the best possible outcomes and recovery from sports injuries. Our doctors are the sports medicine team physicians for the Atlanta Falcons and Georgia Tech and provide services for many additional professional, collegiate and recreational teams. Appointments for surgical second opinions or acute sports injuries are available within 48 hours. Call 404-778-7777 for an appointment

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Upcoming Doctor Chat: ACL Injuries

ACL Injuries Chat Sign UpDid you know that there are over 150,000 injuries to American athletes each year and female athletes are 2 to 8 times more likely to injure their ACL than their male counterparts?

Surgery is recommended for many ACL (anterior cruiciate ligament) injuries and most athletes are able to get back to their sports within 6 to 12 months. All athletes should know what they can do to prevent ACL injuries or how to take care of an ACL injury if it occurs.  Join Emory Sports Medicine surgeon, Sam Labib on Tuesday, March 26 at 12 noon for an interactive, live, web chat on ACL injuries. Dr. Labib, will be able to answer questions about  the ACL including what the ACL does, how ACL injuries occur, symptoms of an ACL injury, treatment options for ACL injuries, how to get back to your sport after an ACL injury and new research on the horizon.

Not Just on the Sidelines: Emory Sports Medicine Doctors Work with the Atlanta Falcons On & Off the Field

Dr. Spero Karas Atlanta Falcons Team Doctor

Source: Atlanta Falcons Website

The Atlanta Falcons recently contracted Emory Sports Medicine physicians to help manage the team’s sports medicine needs. I am honored to now serve as the Falcons’ head team physician; my colleague, Dr. Jeff Webb, is the assistant team physician. Now that football season is finally upon us, we’re staying busy!

We’re excited to be bringing expert care to the Falcons in a three-prong approach that includes:

  • Athletic performance improvement – strength training and conditioning, biomechanical corrections, and injury prevention through corrective exercises and through training that improves flexibility, flexibility, posture, gait, and overall core strength and strength and balance.
  • Athletic training – the care and prevention of injuries through treatment, taping and orthotics, bracing, heat, ultrasound, muscle stimulation and similar methods.
  • Sports medicine – surgical and medical care of injuries and illnesses

As head team physician, I direct the sports medicine prong, working closely with Dr. Webb and drawing on all the resources of Emory Sports Medicine and Emory Healthcare so that, whatever the problem, I can rely on the finest specialists in the field. The Falcons play really hard and end up with many interesting injuries and illnesses. It’s my job to make sure that the Falcons are wrapped in a complete blanket of world-class care. Emory Sports Medicine offers comprehensive services and renowned experts who can cater to the needs of each player and his specific injury.

As you can see, our work will extend far beyond the sidelines of the games, but Dr. Webb and I will also be there on the sidelines for every game, assessing injuries, and providing care.

I’m really looking forward to being at the games with the Falcons, though it does require me to separate the football fan in me from the physician, taking a more analytic approach to the game. When the Falcons score a touchdown, I’ll be focused not on the elation of the moment or the guy who brought it into the end zone, but on all eleven guys who just contributed to that score. I’ll make sure they’re properly hydrated and that there are no issues arising from their ongoing injuries. I have to be more aware of the medical situation rather than getting too caught up in the excitement of the game.

I’m very proud to be the Falcons’ head team physician, but ultimately my job is to provide the best, most competent care in order to insure the health and safety of each athlete. I’ll save my own celebrating for later, when the job is done.

See how Dr. Karas and the team at Emory Sports Medicine is working with the Atlanta Falcons in this short video, “Meeting the New Team Physician,” on the Atlanta Falcons website.

About Dr. Spero Karas

Dr. Karas is the Director of the Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship Program and an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Emory University. His specialties include sports medicine, surgery of the shoulder and knee, and arthroscopic surgery. He is Board Certified in Orthopaedic Surgery, with a subspecialty certification in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. He currently serves as team physician for the Atlanta Falcons, Georgia Tech Baseball and Lakeside High School, as well as a consulting team physician for Emory University, Ogelthorpe University, Perimeter College, Oglethorpe University, Perimeter College, and Georgia Tech athletics. He cares for patients and athletes of all levels: professional, collegiate, scholastic, and recreational.