Pediatric sports medicine is a rapidly expanding field. This is driven in part by an overall increase in the incidence of sports injuries in children. For example, the incidence of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures has increased substantially over the last several years.
Many individual Shriners Hospitals locations have initiated their own sports medicine programs. Corinna Franklin, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia, led a team that obtained a development grant to begin the process of unifying the health care system’s sports medicine and motion analysis programs in order to provide collaboration throughout the system and strengthen our presence in this field.
Last year, with this grant, the Shriners Sports Medicine Consortium was established. Sports medicine programs from 10 of our sites – including Philadelphia and Erie, Pennsylvania; Chicago, Illinois; Pasadena, California; and Houston, Texas, are represented in the Consortium, which comprises a multidisciplinary team of physicians, therapists and motion analysis staff from across the health care system. Combining the expertise and patient data from each of the sites will allow us to provide a consistent and comprehensive level of quality care, as well as drive biomechanical sports medicine research.
Since the Consortium’s establishment, considerable progress has been made. Various research protocols, as well as a motion analysis clinical protocol, have been developed. In addition, work is being done to standardize the method used within our health care system to safely return athletes to sports, establish patient-reported outcome measures and create a standardized sports-intake form. Over the next two years, the Consortium will establish the infrastructure for data collection, methods for querying and analyzing data, and pilot data for larger studies. These steps will help the Shriners Sports Medicine Consortium become a worldwide leader in pediatric sports medicine.