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Miss O Moms—November 10, 2011

Dr. Daniel W. Green, pediatric orthopedic surgeon from Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC, shares some of his expert advice on Sports Medicine.

Ways to avoid tearing your ACL

I have heard that girls are much more likely than boys to have problems with their ACL. My daughter is starting basketball this year—what can she do to help prevent injury?

Basketball and soccer are two of the sports where we often see the most knee problems, including ACL tears. Girls are much more likely to tear their ACL than boys are—about 6 times, in fact. In order to watch out for this, there are strengthening and stretching exercises that athletes can do to reinforce the ligaments around the knee. The proper techniques to be used in cutting and jumping are also very important, and coaches can play a role in teaching these ways to avoid injury.

Choosing a sport your child will enjoy

How should I choose which sports my young child joins? What factors should I keep in mind?

The focus here should be on what the child expresses interest in. The athlete and the parents should work together to find the sports that offer the best possible experience for the child. My job is to make sure that the athlete can get back to the activity of their choice. Sports have so many upsides; promoting strategy, teams, physical activity—we are strong supporters of kids and sports. It’s important to make sure it’s the child driving the interest in the sport and not the parent. As they go through different stages of development, young athletes might want to change a sport that they had been excelling in, and if they want to change gears, it’s important to listen to them.

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