Stories about: sports injuries

College athlete’s gruesome leg break sparks national conversation about injury prevention in young players

Kevin Ware- Picture from USA Today

Last week, sports fans collectively gasped with sympathetic pain when Kevin Ware, a 20-year-old basketball player from the University of Louisville, suffered a devastating leg injury during a nationally televised NCAA tournament game. In an attempt to block an opponent’s shot, Ware leapt into the air and landed in such a way that shattered two bones in his leg—the tibia and fibula—just below his right knee.

The tibia break was especially gruesome, with the bone not only breaking, but ripping through his skin and protruding outward. (An injury known as a compound fracture.) In addition to being very painful, compound fractures can be harder to treat than typical breaks and carry an increased risk of infection.

“Anytime you have a fracture there is the risk of infection,” says Boston Children’s Hospital’s Division of Sports Medicine doctor Michael Beasley, MD, who along with thousands of other people watched the injury live on television last Sunday. “But when that fracture also breaks the skin the risk of infection to the surrounding muscle and tendons increases. You also significantly increase the risk of infection in the bone, which can be very troubling if not caught early.”

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Beating the odds: After three knee injuries, a female athlete triumphs

Krista

There is a special kind of female athlete who is so dedicated that her sport becomes her life. Because research shows that girls and women are prone to higher rates of injuries and other health complications, these female athletes require a level of dedication not only to their sports, but also to their long-term health. And by pairing the two, they prevail.

For Krista Pinciaro, soccer player at Medfield High School, dedication to the sport came naturally. But when she tore her medial meniscus and re-tore her lateral meniscus (after tearing both her meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) years before), she knew her senior-year soccer season was at stake.

“It was one of the worst days of my life,” says Krista. “Soccer isn’t just a sport to me, it’s my everything. It made me feel like I belonged to something, and it made me succeed academically because I knew I had to in order to keep playing. My teammates and my coaches were all like members of my family. Not playing was devastating for me.”

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One patient’s story: From torn ACL to MVP

For kids like 8-year-old Fletcher Gallimore, playing sports is part of their identity. But in September of 2011, Fletcher—who loves football and basketball—was accidentally pushed into a post during football practice, hitting his knee. And the accident took him and his parents down a path they never imagined.

The next days followed with occasional pain, but Fletcher and his teammates hoped he’d be OK by Saturday’s game. At practice that week, though, his knee buckled. Concerned, his parents took him to the doctor near their North Carolina hometown, and it became clear that Fletcher wouldn’t be playing on Saturday, after all.

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test showed that Fletcher had completely torn his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a major ligament in the knee that protects cartilage and keeps the knee stable. If Fletcher ever wanted to play football again, he would need to have surgery. The question was, when?

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Bruins forward scores one for Children’s patients

Bad weather kept Marc Savard from watching last night's game in his donated box, so teammate Brad Marchand came up to hang out with Children's patient Patrick and family.

Snow No! I was super excited to watch TV yesterday so I could check out press coverage of Bruins forward Marc Savard, who was scheduled to publicly announce an AMAZING donation he’s giving to the kids of Children’s Hospital Boston.

Unfortunately winter storms in Toronto grounded his flight to Boston and Savy’s big announcement was postponed. The weather may have stolen some of Savard’s thunder, but it can’t take away the great things he’s doing for kids. Marc recently purchased an entire luxury suite at TD Garden, the home of the Bruins, and is donating it to Children’s patients for every home game of this and next season.

Children’s Child Life Services will be awarding the tickets to various patients throughout the hospital, with a special focus on children suffering from the medical and psychological effects of head trauma. It’s a cause dear to Savard, who has had to temporarily stop playing with the Bruins after suffering two concussions last season during play.

“Marc Savard understands firsthand the challenges faced by children suffering from the effects of head trauma,” said Beth Donegan Driscoll, director of Child Life Services at Children’s Hospital Boston. “The partnership with him is an exceptional opportunity for Children’s Hospital Boston patients and their families to experience the thrill of a Bruins game at the generosity of this very special man.”

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