Skitching the Most Dangerous, says Orthopaedic Surgeon
MELROSE PARK, Ill. â The last full day of winter is March 19, but many states will experience a month or more of snow and ice. Broken bones from snowboarding and sledding top the list of common visits to the Emergency Department (ED) during the winter months. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-quarter of all emergency hospital visits are attributed to snowboarding accidents, and half of all cases were for broken bones and sprains. âChicagoans embrace winter with gusto largely because of the great love for hockey, sledding and ice skating,â said Gottlieb Memorial Hospital orthopaedic surgeon Daryl OâConnor, who formerly cared for U.S. Olympic ski and winter sports athletes in Salt Lake City. Dr. OâConnor is board certified in orthopaedic surgery and now specializes in sports medicine in the Orthopaedic Department at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of Loyola University Health System. Here are Dr. OâConnorâs evaluations of the top five winter sports: 1. Sledding â âMore than 700,000 injuries are reported each year in the United States due to sledding. More than 30 percent are head injuries, caused by collisions,â OâConnor said. 2. Hockey â âLacerations, as well as neck, shoulder and knee injuries are common in hockey. Many injuries are caused through contact with another player, the ice, a puck or actual skate blade,â he said. 3. Ice skating â âInjuries to the wrist as well as head and neck are most common and most injuries are caused through falls,â he said. 4. Snowboarding â âWrist and elbow injuries are caused by falls on outstretched hands,â he said. 5. Skiing â âKnees really take a pounding and injury is often caused by extreme twisting force-propelled by the skis,â he said.
Snitching on Skitching âThis is not even a sport; itâs just being foolish,â said Dr. OâConnor of the practice in neighborhoods of daredevil teens grabbing a carâs rear bumper and sliding on their feet, or being pulled by ropes on inner tubes or sleds through icy streets. âIn addition to broken bones, neck and shoulder injuries, young people can suffer fatal head trauma. Please, resist the skitch at all costs.â