Hot topics in sports health in 2014?
Jim Mackie, MEd, ATC, LAT
Sports concussions remain in the spotlight. According to recent publications declining numbers at the youth and high school levels, not to mention the avalanche of data coming out about the severity of head injuries, should alarm the NFL. Pop Warner’s participation levels, which were released in November, suffered nearly a 10 percent drop in participation between 2010 and 2012, the largest two-year decline since the organization began collecting that data. On the high school level, there has been slightly more than an 8 percent drop in participation, according to the Florida High School Athletic Association’s numbers from 2011-12 to ’12-13.
Secondly, that we’re not all Adrian Peterson in regards to ACL surgical repairs, as we cannot return at timetables beyond what we can manage and our bodies allow. The fear of re-injury following ACL surgery is a key factor in predicting ones full return to competition. According to a study by Brand & Nyland in Orthopedics, May 2009 “Some meta-analyses have reported that, after ACL reconstruction, only 65% to 70% of patients return to their pre-injury level of sports activity.4,5 Psychological influences such as self-efficacy, health locus of control, pain, kinesio-phobia, anxiety, depression, overall mood, patient willingness and/or commitment, or catastrophization of the index injury may contribute to this patient outcome disparity (Figure). Increasing our understanding of a patient’s psychological profile prior to ACL reconstruction, rehabilitation, and return to play may assist the surgical and rehabilitative decision-making process.”