The Uneven Playing Field - Girls' Sports Injuries

The New York Times—May 11, 2008

Parents of teenage girls who play sports have grown accustomed to what seems like entire teams battling injuries and seeing those who do make it onto the field wrapped in Ace bandages or wearing braces on various body parts.

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Dr. Rebecca Demorest, a sports-medicine pediatrician at the Women's Sports Medicine Center at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, said that it is common for her to treat young women with injuries from head to toe. "They ache and they hurt and they use pain medicine and try to keep on playing," she said. "When they finally get to the point they can't play, they come in to see me. They have a series of nonspecific, overuse injuries that comes down to being worn out. Don't get me wrong. There's a chain of events with boys too. But I see it more with the girls."

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Each of them will likely experience "a grief reaction," says Dr. Jo Hannafin, orthopedic director of the Women's Sports Medicine Center at Hospital for Special Surgery. "They've lost their sport and they've lost the kinship of their friends, which is almost as bad as not being able to play."

Read the full New York Times Magazine article at nytimes.com.

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