Are sports more dangerous than we think? by Ashley Anderson Gymnast Andrea Wilson, from Sioux Falls O�Gorman High School, fell off the uneven bars last week in practice. The accident left her with no movement from her waist down.
According to KELO television, O�Gorman Athletic Director Steve Kueter said the swelling of her injury must go down before doctors can gauge how much feeling she�ll get back.
Is this a risk athletes must take? Was this just a freak accident that is assumed when participating in sport? Injuries in sport are increasing, especially this winter season.
Dr. McWhirter, an orthopedic physician in Mitchell, said he has treated more sports-related injuries this year than he has ever had, and has seen a goring number of female injuries.
He has seen a number of ankle and knee injuries in girl basketball players. McWhirter attributes the injuries to two factors. First, he said females land differently when they jump and rebound. Because their weight is often in their hips, when they land their weight is not directly above their knees and legs. They land harder on their legs and not as wide. The knee joint isn�t made to take this formula.
Also, girls aren�t used to this second season of pounding on their legs. A whole season of volleyball for most of these girls has divided the basketball conditioning of the summer from that of the season. McWhirter said it will get better as the girls get used to the season switch.
Wakonda High School has seen its share of injuries this season as well: The first girls� basketball game of the season took first-team all-stater, Nikki Johnston, down with a knee injury and out for four weeks. Then, starter Rachel Bentaas followed a couple games later with the same injury. Junior starter Kim Henriksen struggles with a strained quad muscle, freshmen Ashley Anderson and Jessica Peterson sprained their ankles enough to require crutches, and senior Kayla Nielsen and sophomore Nicole Mosberger suffer through constant shin pain. Recently junior boys� basketball player Brett Logue received reconstructive surgery on his knee. The ice that used to fill the locker room freezer is at a low availability, for it is used constantly to nurse injuries.
Doctors agree that athletes do assume a risk of injury when playing sport: the more contact and uncompromising positions one puts their body, the more successible one is to injury. Just be smart and prepare your body for competition. Train, stretch, become stronger, eat right, treat early symptoms, and get rest to give yourself the best high school sport experience you can.