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Young Lacrosse Players Face New Injury Risks
Date:4/3/2013

m the tibia (shinbone) and anchors the ACL. That’s because the ACL is actually stronger than the bone in kids whose skeletons are still growing, he explains. But between 1999 and 2013—roughly the same time that the sport of lacrosse really took off—ACL tears increased at ten times the rate of tibial spine fractures.

Tips for Minimizing the Risks

To keep kids safe on the lacrosse field, Dr. Khabie offers the following tips:

  • Build fitness first. Like any athletes (in any age group), lacrosse players should be in good shape, in terms of both cardiovascular and muscle strength. “Being in shape makes it easier to play well and reduces the risk of mishaps—falls and collisions with other players—that come when kids get tired,” Dr. Khabie explains.
  • Focus on form. Parents may think that lacrosse, with all that running and dodging, should come naturally to kids. But proper mechanics are key, Dr. Khabie says. “Kids should learn how to jump and land correctly, with their weight properly balanced, and they need to have sufficient core strength to support all the work that their arms and legs are doing,” he says.
  • Mix It Up. Young athletes should be encouraged to play more than one sport—and to take regular breaks from intense games like lacrosse. “Studies show that kids who play one sport, year-round, are much more likely to get hurt,” Dr. Khabie says. “But those who play a variety of sports develop a wide range of skills and are less prone to injury.”

Victor Khabie, M.D., F.A.A.O.S., F.A.C.S. is a specialist in sports medicine and a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon with Somers Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine. Dr. Khabie is chief of Surgery and Sports Medicine, and Co-Director of the Orthopedic and Spine Institute, Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco an
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