The first-ever national study of platform (paddle) tennis injuries revealed 66 percent of paddle tennis players say they sustained an injury from playing the game. The study also found that of the platform tennis players reporting an injury, more than half sustained two or more.
The most common conditions reported were injuries to the shin/calf (21%), knee (16%), elbow (16%), ankle (13%) and shoulder (10%). Sixty percent of the injuries were caused by overuse and 40 percent were due to an incident that occurred during play. The study, which involved an online survey of American Platform Tennis Association players nationwide, was coordinated by Dr. Leda Ghannad, a sports medicine physician at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, with approval from the internal review board at Rush University Medical Center. More than 1,000 players responded to the survey.
“We knew it was a high-injury sport based on the number of paddle patients we treat,” admits Dr. Ghannad. “But until now, there wasn’t any research that proved this. Paddle tennis requires a mixture of speed, agility and quick bursts of energy, which makes athletes more susceptible to getting hurt. Many players are also middle-aged ‘weekend warriors’ who don’t strengthen or stretch their muscles and ligaments in between games or practices.”
Paddle tennis is similar to tennis but is played outside in the winter on a small, elevated court surrounded by a screen. Courts are heated from underneath to clear snow and ice. Most participants are between the ages of 40 and 65.
“Platform tennis is a great way to get exercise in the winter and I don’t want to discourage anyone from playing it,” explains Dr. Ghannad. “However, because of the high injury rate, it is critical to incorporate warm up exercises and prevention strategies into your routine.”
If you suffer an injury from platform tennis, call the MOR platform injury appointment line: 855-603-4141.
Episode 17.05 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.
Segment One (01:20):Dr. Jeremy Alland from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush talks about the definition and growth of Platform Tennis, unusually high rate of related injuries and the importance of warming up prior to play. Dr. Alland graduated from Rush Medical College in Chicago, IL, where he was awarded the prestigious William H. Harrison, PhD Award for selfless leadership, aspiration and collaboration. He went on to complete a Family Medicine residency at UPMC St. Margaret Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, where he served as Chief Resident and was peer-selected as the best resident teacher.
ABC7’s Judy Hsu reports on the growing popularity of platform tennis, which is played outdoors in the winter. Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush recently completed the first-ever national survey of ‘paddle tennis’ players who reported that two-thirds had sustained an injury due to the sport. Of those, one half had sustained more than one injury. Dr. Jeremy Alland, sports medicine physician, talks about the risk of the sport and platform tennis players talk about what keeps them coming back.
Segment Two (13:50): Dr. Cole as Chairman of the NBA Research Committee and Steve Kashul discuss the work of the committee in tracking and sharing data on performance and injuries in the NBA; how this data is used to minimize future injuries and maximize the performance of valuable professional players.
The initiative is in partnership with General Electric Healthcare. It is spearheaded by a 20-person strategic advisory board comprising team physicians and clinical researchers from various fields, including orthopedics, sports medicine, radiology and epidemiology.
“NBA players are among the best athletes in the world, and their well-being is the league’s highest priority,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement released to ESPN.com. “Our support for medical research through our partnership with GE Healthcare will help us improve the long-term health and wellness of NBA players. We are also excited that this research collaboration will provide important insights to athletes at all levels.”
More than 27 million Americans have OA and the knee is one of the most commonly affected joints. There are many treatment options available including several non-pharmaceutical and non-surgical choices.
WHAT IS OA OF THE KNEE?
Osteoarthritis is commonly known as “wear-and-tear arthritis,” but did you know that young people get it, too? Osteoarthritis, or OA, is the most common type of arthritis; it happens when the body’s natural cushioning—cartilage—wears away between joints. Think of cartilage as a shock absorber for your knees; less cushion results in bone rubbing against bone, and that can cause stiffness, pain, swelling decreased mobility and bone spurs. OA typically develops slowly and becomes worse over time. There is no cure for OA, but there are many treatments available that can ease the pain and help people to retain or regain their mobility.
WHAT CAUSES OA?
The ability of cartilage to heal decreases as people age, but the causes of knee OA vary. It can be hereditary or can be the result of injury, infection, overuse or excess weight.
In osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the knee joint gradually wears away. As it does the protective spaces between the bones decrease resulting in bone rubbing on bone, producing painful bone spurs.
Obesity is the No. 1 driver of knee OA and the No. 1 cause of disability in the U.S.
Weak muscles around the knee can cause OA
Every extra pound of weight adds 3 to 4 pounds of extra weight to the knees; extra weight increases pressure on knees
Genetic mutations can make a person more likely to develop knee OA; abnormalities of bones surrounding the knee joint can also cause OA
Women ages 55 and older are more likely to develop knee OA
Athletes who play soccer, tennis or run long-distance may be at higher risk
Activities that cause a lot of stress on the joint—kneeling, squatting, lifting heavy weights of 55 pounds or more—can cause OA of the knee due to repetitive stress
Those with rheumatoid arthritis or metabolic disorders are at higher risk to develop knee OA
WHO GETS KNEE OA?
More than 27 million Americans have OA; the knee is one of the most commonly affected joints with more than 11 million people diagonosed in the U.S.
Chances of developing OA increase after age 45 and according to the Centers for Disease Control, the average onset of knee OA is 55 years old.
More than 40 percent of knee replacements happen over the age of 65, so many people have to find other forms of conservative, non-invasive and non-addicting methods to control pain and maintain an active lifestyle.
Women aged 55 and older are more likely than men to develop knee OA.
WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS IF I HAVE KNEE OA?
There are many options available for those with knee OA, including several that are non-pharmaceutical and non-surgical choices. You’ll want to talk with your health care provider about the treatment or combination of treatments that’s best for you; here are some you may want to explore and consider:
Activities; walking, strength training, swimming, biking, yoga, tai chi and other low-impact activities may help with pain and function of the knee
Lighten up; a 2007 review found that overweight people who lost a moderate amount of weight had reduced pain and disability from knee OA
Braces, sleeves other devices can help reduce pain and stiffness, take weight load off the affected joint and improve confidence and function for those with knee OA
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS uses electrodes to send a mild current to the affected joint, which can help alleviate pain
Acupuncture, balneotherapy (soaking in warm mineral springs) or heat or cold therapy may help ease joint pain for some people with knee OA
Medications can include acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), topical NSAIDs, prescription medications, corticosteroid or hyaluronic acid injections and more
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, some studies have shown, can reduce pain and improve physical function; natural supplements, including avocado, soybean, capsaicin and turmeric, may have anti-inflammatory benefits for some people
Joint replacement or joint-preserving surgery may be an effective option for some people
If you have mild to severe knee OA and experience intermittent to chronic knee pain, or if you are not a candidate for surgery, ask your doctor about the science of bracing. DonJoy pioneered the concept of functional knee bracing more than 30 years ago and offers the most advanced technologies available.
Most importantly, they can help people return or continue to live an active lifestyle. No one person with knee OA is treated the same, so it’s important to look at all of the available solutions to find what is right for you. Some people may need a lot of off-loading capabilities, while others need just a slight push and comfort that surrounds the muscles around the knee.
Stress fractures in the lower extremities (i.e. pelvis, thigh, legs and feet) are common in athletes who participate in repetitive high impact activities such as running and jumping. Studies have found stress fracture rates as high as 20% in competitive track and field athletes and 13% in elite tennis players.
There isnt as much data available regarding how common recurrent stress fractures are in the same bone, however most sports medicine physicians consider a history of more than one stress fracture concerning and a reason for further workup. This first involves identifying any training errors such as increasing activity intensity too quickly, improper shoe wear, or abnormal running mechanics.
A nutritional evaluation by a sports nutritionist may also be recommended. Oftentimes athletes think they are eating a healthy diet, but may not be taking in enough calories for the amount of exercise they are participating in. In female athletes this often leads to changes in hormone levels and irregularities in the menstrual cycle that can negatively affect bone health.
Your physician may also consider ordering a DEXA scan to evaluate your overall bone density, blood work including vitamin D levels, and urine tests to look for an abnormal loss of calcium in the urine that runs in some families. These tests are relatively easy to perform and can often help identify treatable risk factors for stress fractures.
If you have been diagnosed with more than one stress fracture it is important to meet with a sports medicine physician to help identify and treat any risk factors that can prevent future injury.