2nd Annual Injury Prevention Symposium Opening Remarks

The excitement was palpable on Friday morning as more than 100 guests from across the country settled into the Four Seasons in Vail, Co. to take in the incredible line up of speakers and panelists during the second annual Injury Prevention Symposium. “I was invited here by Dr. Bill Moreau, and I am hoping to leave with new collaborators to contribute to the prevention of youth sport injury,” said Dr. Carolyn Emery, postdoctoral program director, University of Calgary. “There is increasing evidence to support the idea that the younger a child specializes in a sport, the more likely they are to be injured. In Scandinavian countries, for example, youth sport specialization is prohibited until age 15, which reduces their risk of injury. We don’t see that here in the United States or Canada.”  But, is prevention the cure and is it realistic? Many joining the conversation tended to think so, specifically event co-host Dr. Marc Philippon, managing partner, The Steadman Clinic and co-chair of SPRI. “The goal is to prevent injuries before they happen. As much as I love being a surgeon, when I have a young athlete and I see a large cartilage defect, I truly feel that we should have intervened sooner. But, if they are asymptomatic, how can we? That’s why prevention is so important.” Dr. Tom Hackett, knee, shoulder and elbow surgeon at The Steadman Clinic echoed that sentiment. “Injury prevention is a tangible goal. First, we have to identify how they happen and then we need to identify mechanisms as to how to try and prevent the preventable injuries. Events like this which allow us to collaborate across disciplines can make those goals a reality.” Bill Moreau, event co-chair and vice president of the sports medicine division at the USOC reflected on how culture has influenced changes in injuries both in youth and in elite athletes. “I see influences on how technology impacts our culture. When I was a kid, we would play neighborhood games, but now we see more formalized sports at a young age. This is a shift. You see a reduction in youth playing sports because parents are afraid of injury and we need to address this,” he said to the crowd. “How do we make sports safer? We can improve this only if we work together.”

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