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IUPUI roundtable will focus on rise in youth sports injuries



INDIANAPOLIS — The number of children with chronic sports injuries has increased five- to seven-fold since 2000, according to Dr. James Andrews, an internationally recognized orthopedic surgeon who has extended the careers of dozens of high-profile professional athletes.

Andrews and other medical experts say they know why injuries are increasing and that most of them could have been avoided.

The increase in sports-related injuries among young athletes will be the topic of a roundtable discussion on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. The roundtable, titled “Epidemic at the Mound: The Stats and Facts of Youth Baseball Injuries,” will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, at Hine Hall Auditorium, 850 W. Michigan St. The event is free and open to the public.

Roundtable participants will discuss the rise of arm injuries among young pitchers and the related issue of young athletes specializing in one sport.

Young athletes — particularly pitchers — are having surgery in unpreceded numbers because they’re overusing certain muscles and not allowing them time to heal, according to Andrews and others. The number of injuries also is being exacerbated by the number of youths specializing in a single sport year-round, which also leads to increased injuries to overworked muscles.

Journalist and author Will Carroll, a sportswriter specializing in the coverage of medical issues, will make the opening remarks at the IUPUI roundtable. Carroll writes about sports injuries in a column for Bleacher Report. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has recognized him for his reporting.

The other roundtable participants include Dr. Robert Klitzman, an orthopedic surgeon with Indiana University Health Physicians who specializes in the treatment of sports injuries; former Major League pitcher Bill Sampen, who owns Samp’s Hack Shack, a baseball and softball training facility in Brownsburg, Ind.; and Ralph Reiff, a longtime athletic trainer who is executive director of St Vincent Sports Performance.

Milt Thompson, an attorney with a long involvement with sports in Indianapolis, will moderate the discussion. The discussion will then be followed by a Q-and-A session with the audience.

The event is sponsored by the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management, the School of Liberal Arts, the Department of Journalism and Public Relations, and the National Sports Journalism Center.

For details, contact Chris Lamb, professor of journalism, at 317-274-4948 or