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In Injury-Prone Soccer, Headers Aren't the Problem
Date:1/26/2010

s still out on one aspect of heading: subtle brain damage.

"The definitive studies haven't yet been done," said Dr. Karen Sheehan of Children's Memorial Hospital's Injury Prevention and Research Center in Chicago.

And it's still not known if heading a soccer ball could cause long-term damage, said Dr. Robert S. Gotlin, director of orthopedic and sports rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.

As for the tendency for girls to hurt their knees and boys to injure their ankles, Koutures said that programs available online and elsewhere can teach players how to prevent particular injuries.

"Rather than dissuade them from playing, we want them to do things to help them reduce their risk," he said.

In the big picture, Koutures said, "if you play long enough, there's risk of some injury, but the majority of injuries keep the player off the field for less than a week."

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more on youth sports injuries.



SOURCES: Chris G. Koutures, M.D., pediatrician and sports medicine specialist, Anaheim Hills, Calif.; Karen Sheehan, M.D., M.P.H., medical director, injury prevention and research center, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, and medical director, Injury Free Coalition for Kids in Chicago; Robert Gotlin, D.O., director, sports rehabilitation, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York City; February 2010 Pediatrics


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