LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The coronavirus pandemic shut down the sports world. But, with youth sports coming back, orthopedic experts warn of the injury risks athletes face.
“We are being hyper-vigilant as we attempt to return athletes to sports about the COVID risks, but one of the things we aren’t focusing on as much is the risk of general sports participation,” said Dr. Ryan Krupp, the executive medical director of orthopedics at Norton Healthcare.
Dr. Krupp hopes that athletes did their best to follow the at-home workouts and conditioning programs that were given. But he hopes they come forward if they weren’t and don’t rush their way back too soon. It might cause an injury.
“We have to be honest with ourselves, that this is where we are in the continuum,” said Dr. Krupp. “Some people may be able to jump into activity faster, some may need more time depending on how much they did in the offseason.”
Athletes may experience ailments like sprains, tendonitis, growth plate injuries and some other wear and tear type injuries. The best advice is to listen to the warning signs instead of pressing on.
“If we have an issue, we get it addressed appropriately to keep small things small,” said Dr. Krupp. “Keep people in an active lifestyle without having major issues.”
Dr. Krupp advises coaches to engage with their players about their progress while they were at home. He recommends tailoring further practices and training plans to fit each athlete’s status.
“I’m a huge advocate for sports and physical activity, I think it’s extremely important for overall well-being for multiple reasons,” said Dr. Krupp. “We want people to do that safely, we want to make sure that we are going back and keeping people out of orthopedic offices and out on the field of play."