Kenneth Y. Huh
This is weekly dose of wellness brought to you by MemorialCare Health System. Here's Deborah Howell. Hello and welcome to the show.Deborah Howell
You're listening to weekly dose of wellness brought to you by MemorialCare Health System. I'm Deborah Howell and today's guest is Dr. Kenneth Huh, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Miller Children's Hospital Long Beach, with a focus in sports medicine, trauma, hip reconstruction and foot deformities. He received his medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Huh completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Southern California. Additionally, he completed two fellowships one in pediatric orthopedics and the other in sports medicine. His clinical interest is primarily in pediatric sports medicine, and he currently is the head physician for three local high school sports teams. Welcome and good morning to you, Dr. Huh.Kenneth Huh, M.D.
Thank you. Thank you for having me.Deborah Howell
Our pleasure today, we'll be talking about sports injuries and how to help prevent them. So what are the most common types of sports injuries?Kenneth Huh, M.D.
The most common things that are, I guess, we see in kids are sprains being sprains strains for the most common and probably the most commonly sprained ankle joint. Other things we typically see in kids that are different than adults would be injuries to the growth plate, which is near the end of the bones. This is the area where kids grow, and this tends to be a little bit weaker in kids. The bone and kind of growth is weaker than the ligament.Deborah Howell
Right.Kenneth Huh, M.D.
So that's why the injuries here. In addition, we see a lot of repetitive motion injuries, kind of stress fractures, tendonitis, overuse syndrome. And then the other couple of things we see are concussions and heat related illnesses.Deborah Howell
Sure. Sure. None of them pleasant. What's the difference between a strain and a sprain?Kenneth Huh, M.D.
So sprain is actually occurs to a ligament, a ligament is the tissue that connects bone to bone. Whereas the strain happens to muscles or tendon, tendon being the muscle turns to the tendon which then goes into the bone that it actually moves.Deborah Howell
So I've always wondered that now I know. Thank you. All right. Let's focus on the two types of injuries acute injuries and overuse injuries. What's the difference between those two?Kenneth Huh, M.D.
I mean, acute injuries are I mean, just by definition, is something that usually occurs in a specific event. You know, for example, like an ACL, someone's playing soccer, they plan to knee gives out and there's like an actual episode that someone can pinpoint. And so like when their pain or symptoms occurred versus overuse, which usually there's no specific event, it's a pain that kind of comes on over time and worsens over time due to this repetitive motion.Deborah Howell
OK, all right. I can directly relate to the ACL as I'm sporting a new one in my left knee. And I have to say, if you go to your PT, you just never know the difference because I'm fully 100% again. So it's a wonderful thing you're doing.Kenneth Huh, M.D.
Yeah, the therapies I always tell my patients, at least 80% of the of the work is having a good therapist.Deborah Howell
So true and a good surgeon, too. So what factors contribute to overuse injuries?Kenneth Huh, M.D.
I think the most important thing would be kind of improper technique, you know, mechanics. You know, we see this a lot of the kids who, you know, for example, like people who who are pitchers because they get a lot of repetitive use things that they try to overthrow the ball. You know, one of the techniques for trying to throw the ball as hard as they can. Also, when you're kind of starting, whether it be practice or games, you know it's good to warm up because if you suddenly if you go into like kind of sudden forceful movements rather than kind of gradually increasing the stress in intensity , it can kind of cause these overseas injuries as well. And then, um, trying to, you know, quote unquote play through the pain.Deborah Howell
Sure.Kenneth Huh, M.D.
Another thing that contribute to this, you got to listen to your body. And along those lines, I think you need to make sure that you can rest. You got to take at least one or two days off a week for the sport in order to let your body feel, especially important to kids that are growing. And like I said before, their physiology is little different than an adult with any time to rest and grow.Deborah Howell
It's got to be kind of tough for kids on sports teams. When a coach is saying down, do some more burpees and you know you got a little twinge in your knee and you don't know that burpees take it to the next level.Kenneth Huh, M.D.
Oh yeah, I agree, especially if the dad is the coach too. It's coming up.Deborah Howell
In fact, the truth. All right. Can you share some helpful tips for athletes and parents on some things they can do to help prevent injuries?Kenneth Huh, M.D.
The first foremost, definitely wearing protective gear and protective gear, said, you know, putting on a helmet that's three sizes big isn't helpful. It makes its protective gear that's been checked is up to date and as well fitting. And then, like I said before, making sure you warm up or cool down is important.Deborah Howell
Mm-Hmm.Kenneth Huh, M.D.
I know people don't think kids probably think that they don't need to. But as you get older, you realize the importance of it. Yeah, exactly. And that's very that's very important. Hydration is important, you know, want to make sure you drink plenty of fluids at least 30 minutes before game and then at least every 15 to 20 minutes during the game? You want to be drinking fluids.Deborah Howell
Are you saying? Fluid? Do you mean water? Do you mean Gatorade or a mix of both?Kenneth Huh, M.D.
I think water to be the best. I mean, I think it's good to replenish your electrolytes and stuff, but I mean, you can't go wrong with water bottles. And then I think other things would be just, you know, just particular to the kid would be playing with sports and playing kind of the parents should be cognizant of what are the common injuries and then they can kind of educate themselves on how to, you know, prevent those specific injuries because each sport has different things that you know are higher risk.Deborah Howell
Yeah, one is a common to pretty much every sport, and that's concussions. So could you tell us what it is, please?Kenneth Huh, M.D.
Yeah. It's basically a form of what they call a traumatic brain injury. TBI is what they call it, but it's basically, you know, it's took a jarring or shaking of the brain inside the skull, and it can kind of alter the way your brain works, you know, temporarily.Deborah Howell
So and what are the signs and symptoms?Kenneth Huh, M.D.
For severe one, he would see a loss of consciousness. And then other things like excessive thinking, remembering people all kind of feel slow and then they have problems concentrating and then you can have problems remembering new things, in terms of physical symptoms, they can have headaches, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, loss of balance, and then they could be sensitive to light or noise. In terms of kind of like emotional mood changes, you could see people getting irritable or depressed or anxious. And finally, in terms of sleep, yeah, this is kind of yeah. You might not see that right away. These are more kind of things to kind of manifest after weeks.Deborah Howell
You know, that's interesting if it's if it goes untreated.Kenneth Huh, M.D.
Yeah. Yeah, or these are signs that may not cause not always appear right away, that's the difficult thing with concussions. I mean, a lot of times the things I typically see, like when I'm cutting football games will be no nausea, vomiting or dizziness. Kind of the whole feeling slow would not be on remember things, but the emotional stuff and the problems of sleep are things that can kind of manifest themselves after a few days.Deborah Howell
Is this recent discovery? I mean, I hadn't heard this before.Kenneth Huh, M.D.
I was probably become more clear, I think it's a lot more research than being poured in the concussion. You know, I think with all the professional athletes, particularly NFL having that their concussion problem, there's a lot more money the research. I think we've discovered that there are a lot more things that occur with a concussion rather than just what happens in the first, you know, the initial symptoms after the injury that kind of come on a few later. And that brings up the bills for a few days.Deborah Howell
Is there treatment for concussion?Kenneth Huh, M.D.
The most important thing for treating concussion is to make sure that you start playing right away, right? You know, because there's actually the big thing is there's a phenomenon called the second hit phenomenon, which is when if you're sustaining a concussion and you don't give your brain adequate time to rest and recover, you have another injury or insult to the brain force fully recovered. It can actually. It's not just adding up to concussions, it can actually, you know, the effects can be exponential because your brain is already at risk and then another shock to it can kind of cause it to have a much worse person if it was just an individual concussion by itself.Deborah Howell
As you're talking and I'm imagining pro boxers.Kenneth Huh, M.D.
Pro boxers are often linemen, defensive linemen of football. Every player smashing heads with each other.Deborah Howell
Yeah, yeah. Well, you do see some of these symptoms manifest in older athletes. Maybe who've maybe sustained multiple concussions over the course of their, say, their boxing career.Kenneth Huh, M.D.
Oh, yeah. I mean, you hear about this, you know, even with the NFL players, I mean, I think there are a lot of there've been a few people, I think most notably recently, I don't know Junior Seau with NFL linebacker, he ended up committing suicide. They think a lot of stuff is due to the effects of multiple concussions and the behavioral problems occurred afterwards.Deborah Howell
It's just a tragedy. I mean, you're such a superstar. He was.Kenneth Huh, M.D.
Yeah, yeah, for sure.Deborah Howell
OK, well, we're getting to pretty much the end of our show. What other injuries should we be on the alert for that? Maybe, maybe something unusual that we might not typically see in a sports program?Kenneth Huh, M.D.
I think nowadays people are so well versed in being. Knowing that like what to watch out for in terms of a lot of the big injuries, so I don't think it's too much. I mean, I think the biggest thing right now is just is, say, having kids be upfront and honest. A lot of kids just want to play, so they'll hide their injuries, right? And by the time they come out, it's like. They've got a lot more damage. And then I guess the other thing also is then the flipside being also the parents have to be aware to be willing to step in because I routinely see the parent who thinks that they're, you know, seven year old child is going to be the next Kobe Bryant. So they keep pushing their kid.Deborah Howell
That's right.Kenneth Huh, M.D.
Elton said. seven years old. You know, they can take a break and it's not going to affect their athlete career.Deborah Howell
That's right. That's right. Well, thank you so much, Dr. Huh for finding the time to talk to us today about keeping our kids safe from sports injuries. It's been a pleasure to have you on the show. I'm Deborah Howell. Join us again next time as we explore another weekly dose of wellness brought to you by MemorialCare Health System. Bye bye.
More than 38 million children and adolescents participate in organized sports in the United States each year. Although sports participation provides numerous physical and social benefits, it also has a downside: the risk of sports-related injuries.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 2.6 million children 0 - 19 years old are treated in the emergency department each year for sports and recreation-related injuries. These injuries are by far the most common cause of musculoskeletal injuries in children treated in emergency departments.
They also are the single most common cause of injury-related primary care office visits.
Dr. Kenneth Huh shares the most common types of sports injury, the factors and symptoms that contribute and prevention tips for athletes and their parents.
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