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Dr. Christian Balldin on Preventing ACL Tears in Athletes

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The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the four major ligaments of the knee.  ACL tears are very common in sports where athletes are expected to change direction and pivot frequently such as in football, basketball and soccer. 

There are a high number of sports-related ACL injuries across the board, but this seems to be especially true in women’s basketball and women’s soccer.  Numerous studies have tried to explain this phenomenon and, though there is no complete consensus, some proposed explanations include:

  • Women have slightly different and narrower anatomy in the area of the knee where the ACL runs making it prone to impingement and thus injury.
  • There is difference in the balance of the musculature surrounding the knee between male and female athletes.
  • Female athletes show different landing dynamics of the knee when jumping and cutting.
  • Hormonal differences may make the ACL more prone to rupture in women.

Another contributing factor to ACL injury is overuse.  Year round play, which is becoming more and more common in today’s environment, makes athletes more prone to ACL tears and to sports injuries in general.  In baseball, we see elbow or shoulder injuries because of too many pitches as early as little league.  In football, basketball, and soccer, we see a high number of ACL injuries. During the season, it is crucial to get the all important rest that allows the body to rejuvenate and avoid overuse injuries.

Athletes need to make sure they are in good physical condition prior to starting the season, engage in proper warm-up and cool-down activities and implement certain exercises within their training regimen to decrease their chances of ACL tears.  Multiple studies have looked at implementing exercise programs to make the body more aware of how to land and change direction safely. While in use, these programs showed a decrease in number of ACL tears, but the effect appeared to dissipate when the exercises were not performed any longer.

Due to the nature of certain sports, we will never be able to prevent all sports-related ACL tears, but following these guidelines may help you sidestep an injury.


Dr. B. Christian Balldin is an orthopaedic surgeon, specializing in sports medicine, at The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group.  To learn more about Dr. Balldin, please visit his web page here. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Balldin, please call 210.281.9595.

TSAOG Opens Saturday Sports Injury Walk-In Clinic

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(San Antonio, Texas) August 22, 2011 — It’s Saturday morning and you are realizing that the spectacular; football … or soccer…or softball game your child played the night before has resulted in an injury of some kind that needs attention, NOW. The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group is stepping up to the plate, using the combined assets of its OrthoNow Clinic (on-site emergency orthopaedic walk-in clinic) its ;unequalled Sports Medicine Physicians and the Group’s commitment to preventing youth sports injuries is once again offering the community a Saturday Sports Injury Walk-In Clinic for injured athletes.

The clinic will be held at The Orthopaedic Institute located at 400 Concord Plaza Dr., Suite #300, and will be open every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. starting August 27 th and running through the end of football season.

Dr. Brad Tolin, sports medicine surgeon with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group said, “Our goal is to keep kids active for life. That’s why we are offering a safety net to parents, coaches and athletic trainers who know that sports injuries don’t happen M-F, 9–5 p.m.”

At the Sports Injury Clinic, injured athletes from all over south Texas can show up and be seen by Orthopaedic Sports Medicine specialists. As a part of the 24-physician San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, we offer complete orthopaedic care including Hand, Foot & Ankle, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Spine specialists to treat the wide variety of sports injuries that can occur.

There is on-site x-ray, MRI and CT imaging with Physical Therapy available to expedite diagnosis and treatment of the injured athlete “to get back to the game.”

For more information on the clinic or The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, call (210) 804-5424 or visit their website at www.tsaog.com.

Dr. Brenman on News Radio 1200 WOAI

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A cool Justin Beiber backpack may be just the thing for a kid in the “in” crowd. But that seemingly innocent backpack, loaded with books, can cause serious harm.

Dr. Ephriam Brenman, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist with the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, the region’s leading orthopaedic practice, says the backpack could be damaging those little muscles and bones.

“So unfortunately, these kids are having severe symptoms especially with neck, shoulders and lower back to the point where they don’t even want to go to school,” Dr. Brenman said.

He says these backpacks are not designed to carry heavy loads like lots of books and are not designed with a young back in mind.

“They are not meant to carry all of that weight and they are not dynamically able to be supportive of a middle school or high schoolers’ lower back.”

Brenman says get a proper hiking backpack meant for heavy loads or a small rolling suitcase when shopping this tax free weekend.

“It’s a larger, true backpack that is used for hiking and camping; it’s actually has multiple compartments, evenly distributes the weight of the books and goes over both shoulders.”

Kids today don’t often have time to dump books at their locker … and often carry them around all day, and Dr. Brenman warns that could be doing some serious and potentially permanent damage to their backs.

Because Friday Night Lights can turn into Saturday morning’s injuries

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The San Antonio Orthopaedic announces the opening of its annual

Saturday Morning Walk-In Clinic for injured athletes

 

(San Antonio, Texas) August 11, 2011 —It’s Saturday morning and you are realizing that the spectacular football … or soccer…or softball game your child played the night before has resulted in an injury of some kind that needs attention, NOW.  The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group is stepping up to the plate, using the combined assets of its OrthoNow Clinic (on-site emergency orthopaedic walk-in clinic) its unequalled Sports Medicine Physicians and the Group’s commitment to preventing youth sports injuries is once again offering the community a Saturday Sports Injury Walk-In Clinic for injured athletes.

 The clinic will be held at The Orthopaedic Institute located at 400 Concord Plaza Dr., Suite #300, and will be open every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. from August 27th through the end of football season.

Dr. Brad Tolin, sports medicine surgeon with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group said, “Our goal is to keep kids active for life.  That’s why we are offering a safety net  to parents, coaches and athletic trainers who know that sports injuries don’t happen M-F, 9– 5 p.m.”

At the Sports Injury Clinic, injured athletes from all over south Texas can show up and be seen by Orthopaedic Sports Medicine specialists. As a part of the 24-physician San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, we offer complete orthopaedic care including Hand, Foot & Ankle, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Spine specialists to treat the wide variety of sports injuries that can occur.

There is on-site x-ray, MRI and CT imaging with Physical Therapy available to expedite diagnosis and treatment of the injured athlete “to get back to the game.”

For more information on the clinic or The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, call (210) 804-5424 or visit their website at www.tsaog.com

Wrist Injuries Double During Ice Storms

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When the weather gets icy, business gets better for Dr. Christian Woodbury.

He’s a hand and wrist specialist at the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, the region’s leading orthopaedic practice, and he saw his patient load double last Friday, when the ice storm blew through the region.

“Any time there’s an ice of snow event, this happens,” Dr. Woodbury said.

He says it is a reflex action to put out your arm to break a fall, and in fact, that prevents damage to more sensitive parts of the head and torso in a fall. But he says the radium bone, the long bone, takes the brunt of a fall.

“If there is a fall, if there is pain, swelling, or any decreased range of motion, it’s a good idea to look into getting checked out,” he said.

Dr. Woodbury says just because there is not a lot of pain, that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been serious damage to the wrist.

“Surprisingly, we see people who have very little pain in their wrist, and there are also people who know immediately if their wrist doesn’t work right.”

He says ice is so hard, hitting it in a fall is like dropping from four feet in the air. He says usually, wrist injuries come from participation in extreme sports like inline skating and snowboarding, or traditional sports like soccer, football, and volleyball.’

Take steps to avoid soccer injuries

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The right gear, including shin guards and non-absorbant soccer balls, can help prevent injuries. / SA  Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/health/article/Take-steps-to-avoid-soccer-injuries-976896.php#ixzz1tisrWWaC

With the buzz surrounding the U.S. soccer team’s trip to the World Cup in summer 2010, soccer experts predicted the sport would experience a surge in popularity among youth.

More soccer players means more chances for soccer injuries – something parents might not anticipate when they sign their children up for a team.

Nationally, more than 477,500 soccer-related injuries are treated each year, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

“It’s not as dangerous as some of the high-contact sports, but the thing about soccer is a lot of the injuries that we see are preventable,” says Randall Marx, orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon with the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group. “Simple preparation goes a long way. It’s easier to prevent injuries than it is to treat them.”

The most common injuries Marx sees are ankle sprains, contusions on the lower legs, tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. Pulled muscles, torn ligaments and broken bones also can occur.

Here’s what the experts suggest to prevent soccer injuries:

Get strong: Twisting injuries and ligament tears can happen when players are moving quickly in one direction and try to stop and change directions by planting their feet, but their muscles aren’t strong enough to withstand that force, says John DeWitt, a staff coach with the youth development system for the Houston Dynamo major-league soccer club. Strengthening muscles can protect against that type of injury.

Get smart: Kids can learn to avoid some dangerous situations. “If I’ve got the ball and I see a defender running at me really fast, getting ready to slide, then probably there’s going to be contact between my foot and their foot,” DeWitt says. “If I recognize that early, I can avoid that by jumping or changing direction.”

Get warm: Have kids warm up thoroughly because cold muscles are more prone to injury.

FIFA’s Medical Assessment and Research Centre developed a soccer warm-up called the 11+ made up of running, strength, balance and plyometric exercises, or exercises using jumping movements, which was shown to reduce injuries by up to half if performed correctly and regularly. Download videos, posters and cards at www.f-marc.com/11plus.

Get the right gear: Make sure kids are wearing properly fitted shin guards to protect the lower legs, Marx says.

Shoes with cleats for good traction are a must to prevent ankle sprains. When playing in the cold, youths should dress in layers so they shed extra clothes as they warm up.

Get the field prepared: Inspect the playing surface in case there are holes in the field, which can cause a sprained ankle, Marx says. Soccer goals should be padded in case of contact and secured and stable so they don’t tip over.

Choose balls made of synthetic, nonabsorbent material, rather than leather, which can absorb water and become heavier, causing injuries.

Get a plan: Know how to administer first aid for minor injuries and have an emergency plan in place in case kids need immediate medical treatment for possible concussions, fractures or dislocations, advises the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Get prepared: “What we always tell our players is there are three important parts of being an athlete,” DeWitt says. “It’s training, nutrition and rest. When you … stop doing one of those three things, performance drops and injury rates increase.”

 

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Some Tips for Staying Healthy as Soccer Season Begins

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Many kids today are playing soccer, not football … so more soccer  injuries are coming through the door at the bone doc’s office.

Dr. Randall Marx of the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, the region’s leading orthopaedic practice, is learning a lot more about soccer simply by treating all of the soccer injuries now coming through his door.

“We see more overuse type injuries with soccer and more high impact injuries with football.”

Like most Texans, Marx grew up with football … but soccer is the sport for the younger generations.

“People are more familiar with football, and the equipment that goes with it and the injuries associated with it.”

Marx has some tips to avoid injury:

“The athletes should prepare themselves by hydrating, they should wear multiple layers, since it’s cold weather they should have layers that they can remove as the warm up, they also need to warm up and stretch and they also need to wear shin guards and cleats.”

Hips, knees thighs and calves should be play ready and warmed up … cold muscles are much more prone to injury.

He says most patients limp in with ankle sprains.

“Contusions to the lower extremity, this can be prevented with shin guards; we see shin splints in athletes that play too aggressively without progressing their activities over time.

“Lots of ankle sprains limping into the office as well as tendonitis .. and occassionally a broken bone. when pain is lingering and severe that’s the time to see the doctor. There are some 480,000 soccer injuries a year.

The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group Joins National Effort to STOP Sports Injuries

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(SAN ANTONIO) October 15, 2010 – The incidence of youth sports injuries has increased at an alarming rate and now account for an estimated two million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC also says that nearly 30 million children and adolescents participate in youth sports and nearly 3.5 million children under the age of 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year. Most importantly, perhaps, the CDC says that more than half of all sports injuries in children are preventable.

The increase in injuries is linked to two different factors; the first being the increased participation of children playing sports at younger and younger ages, and the second involves those who participate in year-round play.

In September of this year, The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group and SASports.com, joined with a national coalition of health care providers to promote an awareness campaign called the Sports Trauma and Overuse Prevention or STOP Sports Injuries.

The national program was created in early 2007 by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine). Nationally, campaign partners include the, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Athletic Trainers Association American Association. The program focuses on prevention and education for coaches, parents, health providers and student athletes.

The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group is one of the area’s largest orthopaedic practices and the only local healthcare group to be an official supporter of this national program.

Our goal is to reach as many local parents, students, teachers, coaches, booster clubs and athletic directors as we can in order to help keep our kids safe. Our message is simple. The old adage, “No pain, no gain,” used with prior generations of athletes has changed to, “Listen to your body’s warning signals.” And everyone involved with youth sports can play a role.

The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group is dedicated to your health and supports the initiatives of the STOP program. Everyone involved with youth sports injuries can play a role in preventing injuries.

If you are a healthcare provider, student athlete, coach or parent, we encourage you to Take the Pledge to do YOUR part and participate in the movement by going to the link at visiting the TSAOG Website. Visitors to this site can learn more about the program, view podcasts, and discover injury prevention tips for the following sports and conditions:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Dance
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Running
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Heat illness
  • Concussion
  • Overuse injury

For immediate diagnosis and treatment of an athletic injury, we welcome walk-ins at the OrthoNow Urgent Care Clinic located at The Orthopaedic Institute near Jones-Maltsberger and 281. You may also schedule an appointment by calling 210.804.5424. The OrthoNow Urgent Care Clinic offers extended hours and accepts most insurance plans.

If you wish to speak with one of our Sports Medicine Institute physicians regarding specific questions on the STOP program, you may visit the “Our Physicians” section of website for contact information at www.tsaog.com.

Dr. Brad Tolin is an orthopaedic surgeon with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group. He specializes in arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery of the shoulder and knee, total knee and joint replacement; cartilage restoration procedures; and sports medicine.

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ABOUT THE SAN ANTONIO ORTHOPAEDIC GROUP
The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group was established in 1947 for the purpose of providing the highest quality of orthopedic, medical, and surgical care to the regional San Antonio community, surrounding areas, and beyond. Its board certified surgeons are experienced, skilled, and subspecialty trained to care for and treat the full range of musculoskeletal disorders, diseases, and injuries to the human body in the areas of adult reconstructive, arthroscopic surgery, hand foot and ankle, spine, sports, trauma and general orthopedics. 

Orthopaedic surgeons working to stem the rising tide of sports injuries

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Two San Antonio businesses are joining a national coalition that is seeking to reduce the number of youth sports injuries.

The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group and online youth sports magazine SASports.com are teaming up to promote the Sports Trauma and Overuse Prevention or STOP Sports Injuries campaign locally. STOP Sports Injuries was created in early 2007 by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. Since then, local groups throughout the country have been signing on as partners.

The campaign provides information on how to reduce injuries as well as info on how playing safe and smart can actually enhance and extend a child’s athletic career. Across the United States, youth sports injuries have been growing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 30 million children and adolescents are participating in youth sports and nearly 3.5 million children under the age of 14 receive some sort of medical treatment for sports injuries each year. An estimated half of these injuries are preventable.

Officials with San Antonio Orthopaedic Group and SASports.com say their goal is to reach as many local parents, students, teachers, coaches, booster clubs and athletic directors with better tips on how to keep young athletes safe.

“Youth sports injuries are a problem that we all can do something about,” says Brad Tolin, sports medicine surgeon with the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group. “Youth sports injuries are linked to two different factors. The first is the increased participation of children playing sports at younger and younger ages, and the second involves those who participate in year-round play. The old adage ‘No pain, no gain,’ used with prior generations of athletes needs to be tempered, with a shift to one that says, ‘listen to your body’s warning signals.’ ”

The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group will provide tip sheets and articles on sports injuries on its Web site and at the company’s seven clinics. SASports.com also will post information on its site. SASports.com has covered 130 high schools from San Antonio to Eagle Pass, from Beeville to Burnet and from Shiner to Cotulla since 2001.

All contents of this site © American City Business Journals Inc. All rights reserved.

Local Docs: Kids Are Overdoing Sports

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alarming increase in pediatric sports injuries called a ‘silent epidemic’

By Jim Forsyth

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

 

The number of childhood and teenaged sports injuries is skyrocketing to the point where orthopaedic surgeons call it a ‘silent epidemic,’ and they say it is due to the ‘alarming trend’ of young kids participating in sports year round, 1200 WOAI news reports.  

“It is certain something that we are seeing more frequently in the office nowadays,” says Dr. Casey Taber with the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, the state’s leading practice for research and treatment into bone, muscular, and musculoskeletal injuries. 

 “They are using their bodies more than they probably should.”  

Doctors worry that overuse and traumatic joint and extremity injuries among adolescents are setting them up for a ‘lifetime of chronic pain.’ 

A report released at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons this past weekend suggests ‘mandated downtimes’ for young athletes.  

“More adolescents are participating in year-round sports without seasonal breaks,” the report says. “They are playing on multiple teams simultaneously. This increased exposure means there will continue to be growing numbers of significant musculoskeletal injuries, both traumatic and chronic overuse.”  

Dr. Taber sees it in his clinic, and he doesn’t like what he sees. 

 “You are starting to see some injuries nowadays that we didn’t see years ago,” Dr. Taber says.  

He says more and more, he encounters adolescents who are participating in year-round sports, and occasionally in several sports at once. 

“They are using their bodies more than they probably should,” he said.  “The only way to prevent that is to back off to some degree.” 

He says parents need to be aware that even young, strong, and physically fit young people can suffer chronic injuries by overuse. 

The report says ‘everyone wants to get to the top,’ but adds, “we have to look at this and say, are we pushing kids too hard?  We cannot wait for kids to reach the college level to modify their training, because by that time, it could be too late.’ 

Orthopaedic surgeons point out that college and pro sports governing bodies regulate how much practice, when practice can begin, and how many sports people can participate in, but frequently, there is none of that regulation at the grade school and high school level, where the potential for lifelong damage is the greatest.

 

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