Connecticut Medicine

Mar 2015

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volume 79, no. 3 183 from the editor's desk Active About sports medicine Michael M. Deren, MD T he connecticut State Medical Society is fortunate to have a very active Sports Medicine committee, ably chaired by carl nissen, MD, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of connecticut School of Medicine. is com- mittee has been an outstanding leader in our state in many areas of sports medicine such as increasing awareness and treatment of concussions, promoting safety in high school sports, and promoting awareness of injuries in the senior athlete. in addition to its newsletter, SportsMed, the committee has been active in special editions of Con- necticut Medicine, emphasizing topics of interest to practicing physicians. is current edition of Connecticut Medicine is no exception. ere are outstanding articles on sleep disturbances in concussed athletes, treat- ment of tibial spine avulsion fractures, and anterior cruciate ligament injuries among others. articles on the use of braces for injury prevention and the importance of athletic trainers in improving the safety of high school and middle school sports programs are of special interest. it's surprising how little is known about the physics of some sports as David huang, MD, et al demonstrate in their analysis of the biometrics of cranial forces experienced by figure skaters when performing their spectacular spins in competitive skating. More such studies are needed to better understand the physics of spins and the physi- cal dangers those forces pose to the figure skater when they perform competitive spins. Further research is also needed to evaluate the long-term effects of these maneuvers, as our knowledge of concussion injuries in professional football players has demonstrated. ere are other areas of sports medicine that need study. More work is needed on understanding the hazards of scuba diving, which can be one of the more dangerous sports. little is known about the cause of deaths associated with sport diving. all too often the medical examiner simply states the cause of death as drowning. But what caused the drowning? a heart attack, equipment malfunc- tion, entanglement in netting, or other cause? Far too few autopsies are performed for us to know the causes of mortality associated with sport diving. Knowing the underlying cause would assist in preventing such deaths and make the sport safer, especially as more people have more free time and participate in active sports such as scuba diving at younger and older ages. Such information is needed and should be made available to enable physicians to advise their patients on how to dive with increased safety, what precautions need to be taken, and how best to prepare physically for the rigorous of sport diving. Further scientific study is needed to evaluate what pediatricians and family physicians need to know when advis- ing their diabetics and asthmatic patients on whether to engage in such a sport as scuba diving and if they do dive, how to do so safely. can a patient with epilepsy safely dive? What about a patient with a history of a pneumotho- rax? an insulin reaction, an asthmatic attack, an epileptic seizure, and pneumothorax while diving can have fatal consequences. Further study is needed in all these areas. and it is not just the young who want to lead an active athletic life, as former President Bush demonstrated by sky diving at the age of 90. are we looking at a new field of geriatric sports medicine?

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