Injuries brake athletes’ bones but not spirits

By Maarten Van-Genabeek
Published: October 2010

While most athletes consider injuries to be just a part of the game, the potential damage they can cause is usually unrecognized.
Injuries to important joints, such as the ankle, knee, elbow, and wrist can lead to re-injury and trouble using them later in life.
After an injury, athletes may be reluctant to return to play, and without a positive mentality this is nearly impossible.
Due to the physical nature of sports, injuries are bound to happen; however, there are methods to prevent and treat injuries.
As physical therapy and surgery have become more available for athletes, their mentality and recovery time has improved.
One of the toughest things for an athlete, however, is to return to the field after a serious injury.
On October 9, 2009, then-sophomore and soccer player Abby Rice received a grade three concussion for contesting a head ball during a game. Rice was knocked unconscious and rushed to the hospital. This was a serious injury as Rice was only able to attend two classes last year, Math and English, after the incident.
She continues to suffer long term effects such as headaches, confusion, and seizures. As a result, she is repeating sophomore year and is still not allowed to play soccer or any other sports.
Rice’s condition is improving, and when she heals she plans on returning to the field as soon as possible. After discussing it with her doctors she will be allowed to play in the annual Powderpuff game this year.
“Well I’m not 100 percent sure my doctors were going to let me play yet, but we talked about it and playing Powderpuff is so much less dangerous than a Soccer game, Rice said. “Also, there are a lot of positions out there where I can avoid lots of contact. I’m not scared at all; I’m just excited to be able to get a chance to play a sport again even if it’s just for a day.
Rice’s situation is not unique. Senior Emma Schulman suffered a grade three concussion two years ago while playing lacrosse, when a stray ball struck her left temple.
She suffered chronic headaches and fatigue making it almost impossible to do schoolwork and play sports. Only recently has she been cleared to play sports.
“I couldn’t play sports up until this fall season, and even now, I have to take it easy, sitting out on sprints or whenever my head hurts, Schulman said.
She has recovered steadily over the past two years, but like Rice, Shulman doesn’t know when she’ll be fully recovered.
“There is the possibility that I could have it all through college, or I could wake up tomorrow and be better, Schulman said.
When coming back to play Field Hockey, Schulman was nervous to start physical activity because she had no idea what to expect and did not want to worsen her condition.
“I was definitely a little nervous coming back to play Field Hockey. I know that if I get another concussion it won’t be good, she said. “I decided that I would try playing sports to see if it would hurt or help. I know to take it easy and I am the goalie so I don’t do much running and I wear a helmet and lots of other pads.
Not all serious injuries have to do with the brain, as senior Alex Karys fractured a growth plate in his knee during a high jump accident in a track and field meet.
As Karys was jumping, his plant foot buckled and his growth plate broke. Fortunately, he did not need surgery, as none of the surrounding tendons and ligaments were injured.
Karys had a long recovery time on crutches for a couple months and then endured even more months of physical therapy.
He was finally able to participate partially during spring Track less than a year later after his injury. Karys is playing football this season but is still not at 100 percent recovered yet.
“It still bothers me sometimes, but hopefully it will eventually all heal, Karys said.
Like Rice, Karys wanted to return to playing sports immediately, but he knew he had to take it easy at first. However, after slowly nursing his injury, he worked hard to participate in both Track and Football.
“I wasn’t really worried at all about it. I don’t really know why, Karys said. Karys actually put a positive spin on his injury; he used it as a reason to work hard to get back into shape for spring Track and Field.
Senior Justin Klumpp, quarterback of the Football team, also suffered an extreme physical injury. During a Lacrosse game last spring, Klumpp took a hard fall after being pushed and dislocated his shoulder. Klumpp required immediate surgery the next day and had metal pins put into his shoulder to keep it in place. Although Klumpp made a speedy recovery over six weeks to return for Football preseason, he still believes his shoulder affects his performance.
“Sometimes when I throw the ball I can still feel the pain in my shoulder, Klumpp said.
He was excited, but wary to return to the preseason to start Football after suffering his injury. “I really wanted to play Football this year, but I also wanted to make sure I didn’t make my shoulder any worse than it already was, Klumpp said.
Due to the physical nature of sports, injuries are inevitable, but being careful while competing is important to help prevent them. Serious injuries can leave the athlete questioning whether or not to return. This fear usually goes away with time and confidence that the athlete is in good shape.

Read more

Like it? Share it!


Copyright © Denebola | The Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School | 140 Brandeis Road, Newton, MA 02459.
Site designed by Chenzhe Cao.