Editorial Comment: Symposium: The 3rd Annual Meeting of Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine (PRISM)

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In January 2016, the Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine (PRISM), a broad group of international orthopaedic surgeons, primary care providers, concussion researchers, physical therapists, certified athletic trainers, radiologists, and endocrine specialists met in San Diego, CA, USA to present their research and collaborative efforts for the group's 3rd annual meeting.
Pediatric and adolescent sports injuries have increased as more young people, particularly young women, have become involved with formal structured sports participation, as opposed to “free play” [2]. This increase in the number of young injured athletes, as well as the diversity of pathology seen in this population, has given rise to pediatric and adolescent sports medicine—a rapidly growing subspecialty in not only orthopaedic surgery, but also in primary-care sports medicine, and in associated medical disciplines including radiology, nutrition, and endocrinology.
Although the treatment opportunities and options have increased in recent years, many providers still notice a dearth of quality evidence-based medicine for this patient population. Because some of the problems we treat are uncommon or rare, it is increasingly evident that multicenter collaboration will be necessary in order to produce high-quality evidence in pediatric and adolescent sports medicine. Our specialty demands improved basic science approaches and novel biomechanical and anatomical research methods that test our established interventions for musculoskeletal disorders such as osteochondritis dissecans, a disease that often presents in young active athletes [1]. We also need better surgical interventions for this young and active patient population; cadaver studies would be helpful, but such specimens in this age group are difficult to obtain for obvious reasons.
Finally, in order to recognize the emotional and societal impact of sports injuries in a young population, clinicians will need to adapt or tailor their patient-reported outcomes tools. Current patient reported outcomes (with the exception of the IKDC which has been adapted for pediatrics/adolescents) need to be applicable for a younger population. Better outcome measures will allow for better means to improve patient care.
Pediatric and adolescent sports medicine research continues to evolve and expand. This symposium highlights the collective nature of this dynamic and innovative group and introduces their collaboration to a broader audience. Our multidisciplinary “team” of sports medicine professionals is still growing, as is our support and focus on disseminating pediatric and adolescent sports medicine education and research.

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