Orthopedics This Week | February 14, 2017 - Page 9

ORTHOPEDICS THIS WEEK VOLUME 13 , ISSUE 5 | FEBRUARY 14 , 2017 9 such as embedding certified athletic trainers in training units , are effective . It also gives us something to compare with the other services .”

Nye and his colleagues found that 12.5 % of the 67,525 Air Force recruits between July 1 , 2012 and June 30 , 2014 experienced at least one musculoskeletal injury during basic training . And those who were injured were three times more likely to be discharged . For those who still go on to graduate they were more likely to graduate late .
“ Almost half of all trainees discharged from [ Basic Military Training ] ( 714 of 1519 over the two-year surveillance period ) were sent home as a result of a musculoskeletal injury ,” he said . “ That may seem like just a number , but seeing this on the clinical side brings perspective that these are generally good young people with high hopes and promising potential , but will have to either reenlist or seek another pathway due to physical injuries .”
Nye explained that the rate of musculoskeletal injury is similar among all basic trainees in all services , and that “ the finding of a 2:1 risk in females compared to males is notably consistent between Air Force and Army .”
He added , “ We are all recruiting from the same population , and while each service tends to attract a slightly different type of person , the fact is that too many young Americans don ’ t spend enough time moving on their feet during adolescence . As a result , they show up to Basic Training unaccustomed to the level of marching and running they will have to do , and suffer overuse injuries .”
These musculoskeletal injuries also resulted in $ 42.2 million in direct
( medical care expenses ) and indirect ( lost recruiting / shipping / training costs with attrition ) costs over the two-year period , or about $ 21 million per year .
Nye said , “ If we could invest a small fraction of that into efforts to prevent injuries and treat them early , such as embedding athletic trainers within the training squadrons , we could likely reduce those attrition rates and costs significantly .”
He did point out that Air Force Basic Military Training is already implementing several promising initiatives to mitigate the impact of injuries , including the VIPER Sports Medicine Clinic .
“ The clinic will utilize “ a ‘ hub and spoke ’ clinical model with a sports medicine physician , two family medicine physicians , and a physical therapist at the ‘ hub ’ and multiple Certified Athletic

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