Gainesville's own ‘Hunger Games'


Published: Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:43 p.m.

A recent article in The Gainesville Sun reported the death of a 16-year-old motocross rider at the Gatorback Motocross Winter Olympics. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends and all those who grieve the loss of this child.

This was a terrible tragedy, but all too often, severe injuries occur, especially to the children and adolescents who participate in this annual event here in Gainesville. As members of the local medical community, we feel obligated to report the magnitude of severe injuries to young lives that result from this sport.

More than 25 children were severely injured at this year's event and were treated at local hospitals. This devastation occurred over a beautiful four-day weekend in our community.

Annually, this sporting event causes the highest number of significant injuries of any sporting event in our region. Over the years, we have routinely seen fractures involving the shoulder, forearm, femur, hip, knee and ankle. Many children require major orthopedic surgical procedures and others are at risk for lifelong disability. Other injuries include collapsed lungs and trauma severe enough to require major chest surgery.

Fortunately, many of these children will heal and be able to return to full activity with no permanent impairment. But many others suffer lifetime consequences.

It is important that the parents of children who participate in this event fully understand the potential consequences.

Mark Scarborough, M.D.

Chair,

Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation

UF&Shands

Adrian Tyndall, M.D., MPH,

Chair,

Department of Emergency

Medicine

UF&Shands

Jennifer Light, M.D.

Director,

Pediatric Emergency

Department,

UF&Shands

Kayser Enneking, M.D.

Chair,

Department of Anesthesiology

UF&Shands

Tim Lane, M.D.

Orthopedic Surgeon

The Orthopedic Institute

Gainesville

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