The Link Between Student Athletics and Orthopedic Surgery

Competitive athletes tend to suffer more injuries than their sedentary peers. As someone who specializes in orthopedic surgery for athletes in San Diego, I have witnessed firsthand just how often an active lifestyle can land patients in my office.

But until recently, no one had bothered to examine how often college athletes require orthopedic surgery, and whether there is any correlation with earlier injuries.

One study attempted to do just that, using multiple regression analysis to try and tease out the relationship between prior and future injuries within a population of NCAA athletes. Their conclusion?

Results from the multiple Cox regression model showed lower extremity surgery before college and type of sport were independent predictors for shoulder and knee surgery.

The strongest indicators for orthopedic surgery were participation in gymnastics, basketball and volleyball, whereas volleyball, gymnastics and baseball/softball were strongest indicators for shoulder surgery. The strongest indicators of knee surgery were basketball, football and volleyball, according to the researchers.

The takeaway is that we should be doing more to protect high school athletes as their bodies develop, and ought to consider systematizing a more rigorous approach to healing and rehab from injuries in young people.

If you’re any athlete in search of expert orthopedic care, please contact the San Diego sports medicine specialists at my practice today.

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