Issue: May 2018
May 16, 2018
2 min read

International Extreme Sports Medicine Congress to feature new extreme sports

Issue: May 2018
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The third biannual International Extreme Sports Medicine Congress, which will be held at the St. Julien Hotel in Boulder, Colorado June 1-2, will include presentations on extended topics in the extreme sports medicine specialty.

“We are going to bring together some new trendy sports, which are not adventure solely, but do not have their own forums, like CrossFit, for instance,” meeting organizer Omer Mei-Dan, MD, told Orthopedics Today.

Other new topics that will be discussed this year include scuba diving, free diving and parkour. Information about traditional extreme sports, such as ice climbing, base jumping, white-water kayaking and skydiving, will be addressed and presented by members of various subspecialties in the medical community.

Guidelines, research ideas developed

Omer Mei-Dan, MD, ice climbing
Omer Mei-Dan, MD, is shown performing ice climbing, which will be discussed at the International Extreme Sports Medicine Congress along with such new topics as scuba diving and parkour.

Source: Omer Mei-Dan, MD

The meeting is not just for surgeons, physicians and physical therapists, according to Mei-Dan.

“It is a meeting where all the health care providers who are interested [in] or treating these types of people are coming together. There are a lot of round tables where we discuss and hear people and see what they have to say and listen to their experiences. Together, as a group, we come up with guidelines and new ideas for research,” he said.

With the rapid and significant worldwide growth in adventure and extreme sports, it is important for medical professionals to be aware of the nuances of the injuries associated with these sports, including how to diagnose and treat injuries. Many of the mechanisms of microtrauma and major trauma associated with extreme sports are not well understood by or even well known to physicians who treat these patients, according to Mei-Dan.

“... We are trying to help them understand that, because once you understand the mechanism, you know how to treat them better,” he said.

For example, knowing the proper time at which patients can return to extreme sports is essential. There can be deadly consequences if the timing is inaccurate, according to Mei-Dan.

“If you are a skydiver and the physician tells you, you are good to go and you hop on a plane and you jump out at 14,000 feet and you send your hand back to your back and try to deploy your parachute and the shoulder dislocates again after surgery because it was not rehabbed strong enough, now you are stuck. You cannot open your parachute ... you may die just because you were cleared too early. These are things that need to be understood,” he said.


Needs of extreme athletes

Surgeons also need to understand the personality of extreme sports athletes because it often differs from that of an athlete who participates in typical sports activities, such as soccer or football, according to Mei-Dan.

“You can play soccer and then be a climber, but usually these types of personalities ... are a little bit different. They are wired differently. They tend to bounce back faster even if not fully ready. They would pursue their activities even while they are significantly injured, or they would not sideline themselves easily. We need to know how to work with these people, so we can deliver the right, safe message as opposed to just telling them what to do,” he said. – by Casey Tingle

Disclosure: Mei-Dan reports no relevant financial disclosures.