As weather warms and days lengthen, winter’s lethargy starts to fade. And it’s about time too! But new activity can mean injuries as we dive wholeheartedly into recreation, yard work, and sports. When your injury requires surgery, don’t be sidelined all summer long. Consider a trip to Longview’s Pacific Surgical Center (PSC) for outpatient surgery that’ll have you batting 1000 again soon.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) documents yearly injuries from an array of sources. In 2017 alone, their hospital surveys estimated 89,608 lawnmower accidents, 13,073 firework accidents, and 24,082 from BBQ grills and equipment.
But perhaps the highest percentage of warm-weather mishaps occurred playing sports. NEISS cited more than 340,000 from football, 218,000 from soccer, 35,000 from track and field, 187,000 from baseball, and a whopping 500,000 from basketball.
The CDC reports that “As people’s participation in organized sport activity increases, so does the rate of sports-related injuries. Recreational activities, including sports, account for an estimated 3.2 million visits to emergency rooms each year for children aged 5-14 years. Injuries from organized and unorganized sports account for 775,000 emergency room visits annually for children in this same age group. Sports-related injuries are the leading cause of emergency room visits in 12-17-year-olds.”
The majority of sports injuries are in children and teens, especially as school and rec league teams kick into action. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) acknowledges that “Every year, millions of teenagers participate in high school sports. An injury to a high school athlete can be a significant disappointment for the teen, the family, and the coaches. The pressure to play can lead to decisions that may lead to additional injury with long-term effects. High school sports injuries can cause problems that require surgery as an adult and may lead to arthritis later in life.”
While anyone can be hurt on the court, diamond, or field, growing teens and young adults are unique. “Teenage athletes are injured at about the same rate as professional athletes, but injuries that affect high school athletes are often different from those that affect adult athletes. This is largely because high school athletes are often still growing. Growth is generally uneven: Bones grow first, which pulls at tight muscles and tendons. This uneven growth pattern makes younger athletes more susceptible to muscle, tendon, and growth plate injuries.”
The AAOS recommends prompt medical attention, a thorough doctor examination, and treatment before return to play is considered. “Treatment will depend upon the severity of the injury and may include a combination of physical therapy, strengthening exercises, and bracing. More serious injuries may require surgery.”
If surgery is indicated, outpatient surgical centers like PSC are ideal. They focus on minimally-invasive procedures which can shorten recovery time and offer imaging, lab work, and follow-up care on-site. PSC treats all manner of orthopedic, urology, gastroenterology, podiatry, and general surgery issues with a team of highly skilled physicians.
Their orthopedists offer “treatment for most musculoskeletal (bone, muscle, joint, cartilage, ligament, etc.) disorders or injuries. Each doctor is highly trained and experienced and uses the latest surgical technologies across all orthopedic specialties…PSC’s highly experienced, credentialed orthopedic physicians provide care with a determined focus on your individual needs. This helps ensure that you get back to your life—free from pain or discomfort.”
No injury is 100% preventable. But there are simple ways to make sure sports injuries don’t keep you benched. The CDC recommends starting each season with a comprehensive sports physical, telling your primary care doctor about health issues, medications, and worries.
After that, they suggest you “Participate in activities that are supervised by an experienced or trained coach who understands and enforces game rules [and] make sure you are properly outfitted for the sport in which you plan to participate—proper protective gear (helmet, shin guards, knee pads); shoes that fit well and are appropriate for the sport; clothing that is not too loose so it won’t become tangled. In some sports, mouth guards and face protection can help prevent traumas to the face, head, eyes, and mouth, which are among the most common types of injuries.”
And never, no matter your age or ability, play through pain. This can make a small problem worse with lasting repercussions.
If you or a loved one are injured, seek medical help. If surgery is advised, schedule a consult at PSC online or by calling 360-442-7900. They’ll work with your family doctor to determine the best course of treatment. After that, you’ll be back on the field in no time.