Every three days, a young athlete somewhere in the United States collapses and dies due to an undetected heart problem. It’s a tragedy that Gian Corrado, MD, who works in Sports Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, has seen unfold firsthand. He was an undergraduate playing pick-up basketball when one of his teammates died suddenly on the court.
“It’s uncommon,” he says, “but it’s not so uncommon that it may not touch you. It happens, and we have no effective, efficient way to screen for it.”
There is a lot of interest in using heart screening in young athletes to reduce sudden death risk . The NCAA’s chief medical office recently suggested that it may be useful to routinely perform electrocardiograms (EKGs) and possibly other cardiac tests on some collegiate level athletes. A January 2016 opinion piece on this issue in the New York Times drew a lot of attention. Cardiac screening has also been proposed for other groups, such as children starting certain types of medications.
But there’s widespread debate in medical circles about such broad usage of EKGs. Why is this so controversial? If it’s such a valuable test, why doesn’t everyone get routine EKGs? …Read More
The 5th International Conference on Concussion in Sport was recently held in Berlin, Germany. The purpose of the conference was to bring together physicians and researchers from around the globe in order to enhance understanding of sport-related concussions and how they’re treated.
One of the accomplishments of the conference was a shift in the international concussion return to play guidelines. The shift was based on scientific consensus from multiple institutions.
William Meehan, MD, of Boston Children’s Division of Sports Medicine explains the changes and how Boston Children’s helped make these advancements possible.
When a young athlete visits their pediatrician or primary care provider (PCP) with hip pain, the proper course of treatment isn’t always clear. The damage caused by acute and traumatic hip injuries can often be determined in imaging, while overuse injuries may be more difficult to diagnose.
For significant injuries requiring surgical intervention, it’s always in the best interest of a young athlete to be immediately referred to a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. But for nagging hip pain that doesn’t have a discernible cause, the best course of action may not be evident.
Notes talked to Mininder Kocher, MD, MPH, orthopedic surgeon and associate director of the Sports Medicine Division at Boston Children’s Hospital, about how to best handle hip pain in young athletes. …Read More
In the midst of some of the hottest months of summer, young athletes are just beginning practice sessions for fall sports. During this time, it’s important for athletes, coaches and trainers to be adequately prepared for the heat — and for physicians to be prepared to treat heat illnesses.