AOSS announces new media guide for athletic injuries

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AOSS) unveiled a new media guide aimed to help the media understand the terminology of sports-related injuries. The guide, titled “The Sports Medicine Media Guide: An Illustrated Resource on the Most Common Injuries and Treatments in Sports,” is a 33 page comprehensive source on everything from ankle sprains to cardiac arrest and heat stroke, according to the AOSS website.

“The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons put together this media guide to help the media better discuss athletic injuries, because often times there are some common terms that get thrown around, a lot of the times inappropriately,” said Cary Berthelot, interim director of Sports Medicine.

Berthelot, who teaches orthopedic classes on campus, took notice of the misuse of the terminology.

“I teach two orthopedic classes on campus and, as juniors in the program, one of their projects is to find a secular article, a newspaper or magazine or something like that, and pick apart what is wrong with it scientifically,” said Berthelot.

Berthelot then talked more on the general knowledge of sports medicine, including the most common injuries amongst student-athletes at Southeastern.

“Across the board, ankle injuries are the most prevalent. Second to that would be back pain, and recently we have had a number of hand injuries,” said Berthelot. “We have also had the plague of some knee injuries. In the realm those are probably the four most common, with ankles and backs really sticking out. It’s hard to find an athlete that hasn’t had an ankle or back problem.”

Though not a common injury, concussions have brought about much media attention over the last year and have even been linked to permanent brain damage.

“Last year the NCAA and the National Athletic Trainers Association came up with some guidelines that we have to utilize in order to treat concussions,” said Berthelot. “The issue got a lot of media attention last year but for us here it is pretty cut and dry. We have a concussion management program in place and it’s basically if someone has signs or symptoms of a concussion they are automatically done for the day.”

The length of the time a student-athlete must sit out depends on the severity of the concussion. Also, if a student-athlete loses consciousness at any point, he or she must wait two weeks after the elimination of all symptoms. The student-athlete then goes through several tests before he or she can be eligible to play.

“The first test is called the Standard Assessment of Concussion test, or the SAC test, which tests their memory, both long term and short term and it tests their ability to reason, it tests serial numbers which is basically being able to count in reverse order, remembering words, and also tests of strength,” said Berthelot.

After the first step, the student-athlete then goes through a symptom checklist and another standardized test.

“We do a symptom checklist, which is where we test them on everything from headache to nausea to simply not feeling well,” said Berthelot. “The third thing we do is a BESS, or a Balanced Error Scoring System, where they get tested on their ability to balance. All of the athletes go through that as a baseline. So all contact and collision athletes do that test before they get to step on to the field.”

Berthelot feels that she and her staff are prepared for any injury-related challenges that the ongoing seasons may match them up against.

“As a certified athletic trainer, as a part of the sports medicine team here, I feel that we are really equipped to take on any challenges,” said Berthelot.

We work closely here with our physicians, in addition to staying certified. We go through our education program as undergraduates, but we also try to stay current on topics. You’re not allowed to sit and be stagnant.”