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METZL JORDAN D. MD
Pediatric Emergency Care: April 1999
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This article on soccer marks the first of a biannual series on sports-specific injury. Sports-related injury in the young athlete has become an issue of increasing importance to both emergency physicians and the pediatric community at large. Across America, increasing numbers of children and adolescents are participating in youth sports, a trend that translates into increasing numbers of injured young athletes interfacing with the medical system. This series of reviews is designed to provide a better understanding of sports-specific patterns, with the hope of assisting the emergency physician in the diagnosis and treatment of sports-related injury.

From an epidemiologic perspective, sports-related trauma is an area of tremendous research potential. For reasons that are not entirely clear, there is a paucity of research on sports injury being undertaken within emergency departments. Since the majority of patients with sports injuries of a serious nature initially seek care in the emergency department, an opportunity exists for significant intervention and epidemiologic study within this setting. Therefore, these sports-specific reviews are intended not only to educate readers about the specific injury data and injury patterns found in certain sports, but also to stimulate further research on this topic.

Finally, from an educational perspective, these sports-specific reviews are designed to further facilitate the incorporation of Sports Medicine teaching into the pediatric curriculum. Unfortunately, the teaching of proper musculoskeletal evaluation and treatment has received little emphasis in the traditional pediatric residency program. We believe that the evolving demographics of childhood morbidity, as witnessed by the increasing frequency of sports-related trauma in young athletes, should prompt the pediatric community to put greater emphasis on including instruction in musculoskeletal medicine in pediatric training programs. Therefore, we hope that this series of articles will hasten the introduction of a formal Sports Medicine curriculum into residency training.

We hope that you enjoy this initial submission on soccer. Please let us know your thoughts on this article so that we may continue to revise the format to make these reviews as useful as possible.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.