“Primary Care for Sweaty People”

Dr. Carl Stanitski with wife & equestrian athlete, Debbie

I am fortunate to be spending my weekend in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where I am attending the 5th Annual Meeting of the Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine (PRiSM) Society Meeting.  This meeting is becoming a major fixture on the pediatric sports medicine calendar, and I have gained so much by joining this organization and attending the proceedings over the last few years.  If you specialize in pediatric sports medicine, the dates January 24 – 26 2019 (next PRISM meeting in Atlanta, Georgia) should be circled on your calendar.

Among the highlights of the meeting was a keynote talk by Dr. Carl Stanitski, Emeritus Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina.  He, along with other legends like Dr. Lyle Micheli and Dr. Jim Andrews, was a pioneer in pediatric sports medicine in the 1970’s when, as he described it, the initial work being done in this field was derided as ‘primary care for sweaty people.’

My, how this field has grown.  In the USA, the advanced, fellowship training in this discipline has exploded in both the primary care and orthopaedic surgery worlds.In the primary care world alone, there are > 200 programs in operation

Twenty-five years ago, when the field was a lot smaller, Dr. Stanitski and others were already sending up the alarms over increasing sports injury rates seen in young athletes — check out this vintage New York Times article from 1992. The article notes:  “They attribute the rise in such so-called overuse injuries to intensive sports training programs for young children, longer playing seasons and specialty sports camps in which children may spend hours lobbing balls on a tennis court or throwing hundreds of pitches each day.”

Plus ça change….the more things change, they more they stay the same.  These are precisely the issues we still face, 25+ years down the road.  That same sentence in the NY Times could be written today.

CJSM and other journals (JATA, BJSM, AJSM, Sports Health) play major roles in publishing and disseminating the research on the diagnosis, management, treatment and prevention of pediatric sports injuries.  A cursory review of the pages of CJSM over the last few years reveals publications related to pediatric concussions , overuse injuries, and training.

What I walk away from this meeting with, more than ever, is the awareness of how much more we need to go in terms of knowledge translation.  If 25 years ago the leaders in this field were already noting a skyrocketing injury rate, and if there has been a wealth of increasing research in this area, why has the problem only seemed to worsen?

The issue of knowledge translation — of taking the information we researchers produce and we journals publish — is near and dear to the collective hearts of the CJSM editorial board.  As professionals we have to start getting the rubber to meet the road.  One of the reasons why we are so passionate at CJSM about using social media is our goal to spread knowledge widely, to get it in front of the people who can put this into practice.

Join us in this quest by following us on Twitter and Facebook and subscribing to our iTunes podcast feed.

About sportingjim
I work at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio USA, where I am a specialist in pediatric sports medicine. My academic appointment as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics is through Ohio State University. I am a public health advocate for kids' health and safety. I am also the Emerging Media Editor for the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.

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