Performance Enhancing Drugs In High School

PERFORMANCE ENHANCING DRUGS IN HIGH SCHOOL Laurence Mermelstein, M.D. There are a fair amount of people who continue to remain ambivalent regarding athletes like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds and their involvement with performance enhancing drugs (PED’s).  Many fans feel that whatever the professional athletes want to put in their bodies is their business. Besides, all those home runs makes for exciting baseball.  In addition,  the major league organizations have been equally ambivalent.  It is only recently that there is a firm anti-steroid policy in baseball with significant penalties in both the major and minor leagues.  Performance enhancing drug use is…

My Aching Back – Lumbar Disc Injuries

My Aching Back – Lumbar Disc Injuries Laurence Mermelstein, M.D. In the general population, lower back pain is one of the most common reasons people see their doctor.  In the younger athletic population, this is not the most common injury, but common enough to warrant serious consideration when it occurs.  The majority of the time, lower back injuries are self-limiting problems such as sprains and strains, which will resolve with rest, anti-inflammatory medication, stretching and exercise.  As discussed in a previous article in this space, young athletes have a predilection for “stress-type injuries” to the lower lumbar vertebrae (spondylolysis). These injuries…

The Female Athlete Triad

The Female Athlete Triad By Laurence Mermelstein, M.D. Over the last 30 years, the numbers of girls and women participating in competitive sports has increased exponentially. With the passing of Title IX in 1972, the numbers of girls competing in high school and collegiate sports has increased over ten times.  Along with these numbers has come the realization that female athletes can develop specific sports medicine issues.  The term “female athlete triad” was coined in 1992 to describe three interrelated conditions that often appear together in the competitive female athlete: amenorrhea, eating disorders and osteoporosis.  The bottom line with this syndrome…

Neck Injuries in Football

Neck Injuries in Football by Laurence Mermelstein, M.D.   As the dog-days of summer turn into the cool nights of autumn, our minds turn to football. As an orthopedic surgeon, my thoughts turn to the football players and the injuries that bring them into our offices every week.   Whereas most spinal injuries are minor, there is no more frightening an injury seen on a football field than a traumatic neck injury.  The sight of a player lying motionless on the field of play will send chills down anyone’s spine, much less the trainer and physician assigned to care for that player.  The goals of…

Head Injuries in Athletics

Head Injuries in Athletics Laurence E. Mermelstein, M.D.   As athletes and spectators, we are frequently reminded that a young athlete’s career can be derailed or cut short by injuries. Specific serious injuries are sometimes associated with specific sports: shoulder injuries in throwers, spine injuries in gymnasts, knee injuries in football, etc. Sometimes these injuries may carry consequences well into the future for the athlete – sometimes requiring late reconstructive surgery as older adults. But one specific injury may have a seemingly benign intial course with the athlete able to continue to play at a high level initially,…

Let the Patient Beware

Direct-to-Consumer Medical Advertising “Let the Patient Beware” Laurence Mermelstein, M.D.   Watching the Olympics turns most of us into gymnastic fans for one week during the summer every four years.  We all remember the American All-Around champions of the past, Carly Patterson and Mary Lou Retton.   But Mary Lou has garnered significant attention the last few years as more than just an Olympic gold medalist – she has become a national spokesperson for the Biomet corporation after under going a total hip replacement in 2005.   Mary Lou was a 37 year old active mother of 4 who had been suffering for 7 years with…