As a physician and orthopaedic surgeon, I try to encourage all my patients to be active. Sports are a great way to stay in shape, spend time with family and friends, and even relieve stress. This week both the Chicago Blackhawks and Golden State Warriors have been crowned champions.
Now that all the ice has melted and summer is fully upon us, here are a few tips to stay safe while trying to be the next Golden State Warrior and not the injured weekend warrior.
In 2011, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 1.4 million basketball-related injuries were treated in hospitals, doctor's offices, clinics, ambulatory surgery centers and emergency rooms.
As a practicing orthopaedic surgeon in Pensacola, Florida, I often see first-hand the types of injuries associated with basketball. Preventing injuries can be easy if adults and children follow these safety tips:
· Always take time to warm up and stretch. Warm-up for three to five minutes.
· Select basketball shoes that fit snugly, offer support and are slip-resistant.
· Use protective equipment, which may include mouth guards, knee and elbow pads or eye protection.
· Incorporate proper basketball techniques — no holding, blocking, pushing, charging or tripping opponents.
· Make sure the court lines, boundaries and baskets are not too close to structures, such as water fountains, bleachers or walls.
· Be prepared for emergency situations and have a plan to reach medical personnel to treat injuries such as concussions, dislocations, elbow contusions, wrist or finger sprains and fractures.
· Do not wear jewelry, glasses or chew gum while practicing or playing a game.
· Take rest breaks and replenish fluids during and after play.
So cheer on your favorite team and remember to play smart and injury free.
Dr. Szatkowski is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic trauma surgeon who specializes in preventing or reducing permanent disability in the most complex orthopaedic cases. Dr. Szatkowski treats patients for various orthopaedic needs such as post-traumatic arthritis, simple and complex fractures, revision surgery and joint replacement surgery at the Andrews Institute.
Dr. Szatkowski has previously practiced in Chicago, where he was the chairman of orthopaedics at one of the busiest trauma centers in the country, John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. Dr. Szatkowski completed a fellowship at Campbell Clinic's Level 1 Trauma Center at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tenn. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine and completed his residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Dr. Szatkowski is passionate about providing the highest quality of care possible with open, honest communications with patients; treating the patient as an entire person, rather than just the immediate medical problem.