I always watch my kids playing organized sports with a mix of fascination, pride and, well, horror. Like all parents, I am fascinated by how good some of the kids are, and certainly I am proud of my own kids (I am a parent after all). But as a surgeon with a specialty in sports related injuries, I do indeed watch the happenings on the field, I suspect, a little differently from the average parent. In fact, there are many times I catch myself thinking: “Wow, that can’t be too good for that little body…”
Recently, after watching my 8 year old get pummeled on the football field, I headed to the sports journals looking for some information. Two themes abounded. The first was fairly obvious: that you can’t be too careful regarding concussive injury. The second, and not so obvious, was the concept of sport specialization. Dr. David Bell et. al. at the University of Wisconsin recently published a paper regarding high school athletes. The point was that a student playing a single sport for more than 8 months out of the year has a much higher likelihood of overuse knee or hip injury. This data reflects what I see in the office regarding Sports Hernias and Athletic Pubalgia in young adults. More importantly, the data makes sense.