Summer Reading, Continued

It’s hard to believe. August is here.

In the USA, this is prime time for my field of pediatric sports medicine.  Two-a-day practices have started in high school.  Contact in American football practices will soon begin.  This training is all taking place in the heat.  We’ve got a lot of injuries coming our way.

And yet….it is still summer, and that means vacation for a lot of us.

In the last CJSM blog post, I shared with you a book that I would consider a ‘must read’ for anyone in our profession who cares for young athletes or is interested in the mental health of athletes, especially elite ones:  What Made Maddy Run?

In this post, I want to commend to you another read, David Epstein’s new book, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World.

Mr. Epstein is likely well known to at least American readers of CJSM.  He was a keynote speaker at the AMSSM annual meeting several years ago, and was a focus of a CJSM blog post published at the time his last book came out (another ‘must read’ for our profession): The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Ability. 

The Epstein book I am currently reading, Range, is a great book for summer travels.  It was a compelling read that I could pick up on a plane, on the beach, or from my nightstand.  Mr. Epstein’s prose flows as he, er, ranges over a variety of topics centered on the theme of generalists vs. specialists.

The book’s most obvious connection to our world is via the increasingly hot topic in sports medicine of sport specialization, most notably early specialization in youth sports, increasingly recognized as a possible contributor to a high incidence of overuse injuries and burnout. Mr. Epstein explodes the modern dominant paradigm of the so-called 10,000 hour rule, making an argument that specialization may be a crucial piece for excelling only in a limited range of sports (e.g. golf, gymnastics).  That youth who start off as generalists go on to  thrive instead in most sports.

He divides the sports world (and the world in general) into ‘kind’ and ‘wicked’ environments.  Read more of this post

Summer Reading

What are you reading this summer?

Summer can be a time when the pace of work and life slow just a bit, affording us a chance to pick up that book we’ve had sitting on our nightstand or follow through on someone’s suggestion for a ‘must read.’

I have a vacation coming up, during which time I plan to catch up a bit on my pleasure reading. The titles in that reading list are not particularly relevant to our world of sports medicine.  However, I did find the time this past week to read a book I have been ‘meaning to’ for a while, and it’s one I would certainly recommend to all my colleagues in the world of sports medicine.

It is:  “What Made Maddy Run”

I found myself engaging with this book on so many levels — as a human being (mental health issues can affect us all), as a former Ivy League athlete, as a consumer and producer of social media, as a father of teenage athletes, and yes, as a sports medicine clinician.  It was a powerful read, a ‘page turner’ — one that has left me thinking long after I turned the last page, the hallmark of a good book, I think.

Madison (Maddy) Holleran was a high level track runner attending Penn, one of her dream schools, as a freshman.  She came from a supporting, loving family, and was endowed with so many gifts. She was the person who ‘had it all.’ Her social media favorite — Instagram — provided the visuals and narrative confirming that.

But.

But, Maddy struggled with anxiety and depression, and she took her life early in the second semester of her first year at university, leaving so many people mourning the loss and full of questions.

The author Kate Fagan stepped into this story and has written such an insightful book on the nexus of youth sports, mental health, and social media.  Ms. Fagan herself is a former NCAA athlete who poignantly discusses her own struggles with mental health in this book.  Indeed, the story is first and foremost’s Maddy’s; but we come to know the struggles of two athletes as we read this book: the author’s and the subject’s. Read more of this post

It’s July, and the new CJSM issue has published

July is already here and it’s the moment for a new issue of CJSM.

I wanted to take this moment both to share our Editor-in-Chief’s thoughts on the new issue, as well as republish a very popular journal club posting on one of the highlighted studies in the new issue: LIPUS in the treatment of spondylolysis.

Whether it’s summer or winter where you currently live, we at CJSM hope you are well and will enjoy and learn from the July 2019 issue.

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Editor-in-Chief Chris Hughes

It’s difficult to believe that we’re already half-way through the year, but here we are already with our fourth Issue of the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine in 2019. 

We start this month with an interesting systematic review by DiSilvestro and colleagues examining the outcomes of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction amongst obese and overweight patients, in studies with a minimum of 1-year follow-up data. 

Several factors were examined in this review including mechanism of injury, post-reconstruction rates of arthritis, IKDC scores, risks of requirement for revision surgery, and risks of contralateral ACL tears. A consistent association between overweight status and the subsequent development of arthritis post-ACL reconstruction was found. However, patient-reported outcome measures were similar for both sets of patients apart from IKDC scores, with lower IKDC scores being found amongst the overweight and obese population. The authors conclude that more research is required to be able to appropriately counsel patients undergoing primary ACL reconstruction surgery with specific relation to weight optimisation prior to surgery. 

Tsukada and Colleagues present an interesting case-control study of the effect of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) for early-stage lumbar spondylolysis amongst a cohort of 82 active sports participants aged between 10-18 years old, with the vast majority of these subjects playing baseball. Time required for return to previous sports activities with standard conservative treatment (including thoracolumbar bracing, activity modification and therapeutic exercises) were compared with a similar group also receiving LIPUS treatment. Amongst this cohort, median time for return to previous sports activities for the conservative treatment plus LIPUS group was 61 days, compared with 167 days for the conservative tretatment-alone group. The authors suggest that LIPUS combined with conservative treatment may be a useful therapy for shortening return to sport times. 

Highlights amongst our other Original Research articles this month include the clinical utility of oculomotor and electrophysiological measures in identifying concussion history, the effects of long-term diving on the morphology and growth of the distal radial epiphyseal plate of young divers as assessed by MRI, and a prospective randomized-controlled trial pilot study comparing conservative treatment with trunk stabilisation exercises to standard hip muscle exercises for treating femoroacetabular impingement. 

We also bring you a Brief Report on the effect of a commercially available footwear insole on biomechanical variables associated with common running injuries, and a Case Report on the clinical outcome following lateral ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction in an adolescent baseball player. 

Finally this month, we pay tribute in respect of the passing of our esteemed Editorial Board Member, Dr Bill Garrett Jr, on May 4th, 2019. As Director of Duke Health, Bill was a much-loved and valued member of the Orthopedic team there for over 40 years. As a Specialist in Sports Medicine, he worked as the Medical Director for the US Soccer Federation and as Team Physician for the US National Men and Women’s Teams, as well as for many Duke teams. A consummate clinician, researcher and teacher, he served as former President of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and the Herodicus Society, and was also a Board Member of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and the American College of Sports Medicine. 

Bill will be sadly missed by all of us at the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, and by the many colleagues, juniors, and patients who owe their thanks to him for his contribution to Medicine in his many roles over the years. 

Best Wishes, 

Chris

Christopher Hughes MBBS MSc

Editor-in-Chief 

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Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine Blog

Spondylolysis in the adolescent athlete — what to do?

Symptomatic isthmic spondylolysis in the adolescent athlete — for many of us in the world of primary care sports medicine who have a large pediatric/adolescent patient base, this is one of the more common clinical entities we treat.

I’ve written previously about some of the controversies surrounding this condition, and I have had the pleasure of seeing some of the spondylolysis research I’ve conducted published in the pages of CJSM.

Recently published “On Line first” in CJSM is research coming from a Japanese center renowned for its work in this area:  Low-intensity Pulsed Ultrasound (LIPUS)for Early-stage Lumbar Spondylolysis in Young Athletes.

I’m delighted to introduce again our Junior Associate Editor, Jason Zaremski, M.D., who is pioneering our on-line CJSM journal club.  He’ll take us through this new study and help us decide:  LIPUS — should we…

View original post 1,161 more words

Sports Med Garnering Headlines — the Ugly Way

Our profession’s shame — headlining the newspapers this past weekend

I woke up Saturday to local news that had a national profile and an international impact:  the front page of ‘my’ local newspaper, The Columbus Dispatch announced in a headline A Failure to act by OSU and went on to describe in the first few lines the essence of the story:

“Over his 20-year career, Strauss would go on to abuse at least 177 male students at Ohio State. For years, nobody stopped him.”

Nobody stopped him.

Dr. Richard Strauss was a team physician for Ohio State (OSU) athletics, taking care of wrestlers and football players.  He was as well a founding member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM), one of the premier professional bodies in our profession (I am also a member of the AMSSM).

If you have not read this story, I encourage you to take a look. In brief, one year ago Ohio State announced an independent investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against Dr. Richard Strauss that had emerged at that time.  Dr. Strauss was a team physician at OSU from the period of 1978 to 1998. He died in 2005 when he committed suicide.  During his tenure the report reveals he abused at least 177 athletes.

There have been multiple media reports, but you may not have had the ability yet to see the full report, which has been released by OSU can can be found here.

I honestly find myself at a loss for words here. That is, I don’t have much in the way of commentary.  I want more than anything with this post to bear witness to the victims and to air this news as widely as possible; it may be that some of the readers of this blog are international and possibly have not heard this news yet.

Our profession of sports medicine has earned these headlines before — the Larry Nassar story still plays out, with USA Gymnastics in shambles a)nd the lives of hundreds of young women forever altered.  Our sports and top institutions have earned these ugly headlines far too often:  from the story Jerry Sandusky and Penn State in the USA to Barry Bennell and youth football in the UK.

“Nobody stopped him.”  The subtext of each one of these ugly, headline-making stories.

I think if the story of abuse in the Church (as told in ‘Spotlight’ and other movies) teaches us anything, it is that the last ugly story we have heard will not be the last ugly story we hear.  There are a Richard Strauss and a Larry Nassar alive and practicing in our profession right now.

Bear witness. Open our eyes to the possibility that this is occurring in your institution, your school, your community. Be willing to speak out and act. Look at resources such as the UN’s initiative on safeguarding in sport (particularly useful for youth sports). The IOC likewise has a ‘toolkit’ — Safeguarding Athletes from Abuse and Harassment in Sport. 

More than anything in a post like this, I would look to you the sports medicine community to share back with me what your thoughts are about this, what resources you are aware of to make these headlines go away.

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