Sports Medicine for the Young Athlete News Tip Sheet

New Insights on Rising Incidence of Knee Injuries will Highlight Symposium

New York, NY—March 2, 2007

The longest running and best attended pediatric sports medicine conference in the United States, Hospital for Special Surgery’s 9th Annual Sports Medicine for the Young Athlete Symposium teaches pediatricians, residents, medical students, physical therapists, school nurses and certified athletic trainers about healthy sports for young athletes. More than 15 topics pertaining to the care of the athletic child will be discussed. Listed below are highlights of four selected presentations that will be offered at the continuing medical education event.

A featured topic will be the treatment of knee pain in the adolescent athlete. Surgical and nonsurgical treatment options as well as physical therapy will be discussed.

To arrange interviews with the following speakers or to cover the symposium, please contact Hospital for Special Surgery’s Public Relations Department at (212) 606-1197.

Diagnosing and Treating the Young Athlete
Jordan D. Metzl, M.D., Orthopedic Director, Sports Medicine Institute for Young Athletes; Program Co-Chair

“The conference addresses specific issues that are unique to the young athlete, and explains how injury patterns and medical issues can affect the growing, developing body,” noted Dr. Metzl.  “We hope that those who attend this conference take the messages they learn here back to their communities. Our attendees come from all over the United States with some international attendees as well.”

Nonsurgical Management of Patellofemoral Problems
Brian C. Halpern, M.D., Assistant Attending Physician
Hospital for Special Surgery

The most common source of knee pain in the athlete is due to irritation in the cartilage just behind the knee cap, known as patellofemoral pain, according to Dr. Halpern. The pain occurs in the front of the knee while running, climbing stairs or squatting, and it is often due to muscle imbalances in the thigh muscles or quadriceps, which lead to the improper movement of the knee cap, known as the patella. Women are more prone to knee pain because of the alignment of their hips. Dr. Halpern will talk about ways to manage knee pain nonsurgically in adolescent athletes.

Surgical Treatment of Knee Problems
Robert G. Marx, M.D., Orthopedic Director, Sports Medicine Institute for Young Athletes; Program Co-Chair
Hospital for Special Surgery

Doctors at Hospital for Special Surgery attempt to treat knee pain nonsurgically whenever possible, but in some instances, surgery is necessary.  Dr. Marx will discuss treatment options for adolescent knee problems and when surgery may be necessary. Certain injuries in the adolescent athlete require immediate medical attention and knowing the signs to look for in an injured athlete may help to prevent further damage. Telltale signs that a serious injury has occurred and immediate medical evaluation is necessary include swelling in the knee following injury, or inability to walk or bear weight on the injured leg, explained Dr. Marx.

Physical Therapy and Knee Problems
Gregg Fives, P.T.
Hospital for Special Surgery

There can be several factors that contribute to knee pain in the adolescent athlete, so performing a comprehensive patient examination helps to expose the cause of the pain and informs the design of a successful treatment program. An adolescent athlete with tight leg muscles should perform stretches of all the major muscle groups of the legs. Stretching should not be painful and bouncing to force the leg into a particular stretch, known as ballistic stretching, should be avoided. Certain training errors can potentially damage the adolescent athlete’s body and include not incorporating proper strengthening and flexibility exercises into the athlete’s program, doing too much activity too soon after an injury without allowing for recovery or adaptation of the activity and not incorporating cross training activities into the athlete’s program.  Physical therapist Gregg Fives will discuss proper stretching techniques and rehabilitation programs for adolescent athletes with knee pain.

For additional information on the program, please contact the Hospital for Special Surgery Public Relations Department at (212) 606-1197.

WHEN: Saturday, March 3, 2007, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE: Uris Auditorium, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 1300 York Avenue (at 69th Street), New York

About Hospital for Special Surgery
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is the world’s largest academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics and No. 2 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2016-2017), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. HSS is an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at


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