Young rugby players prone to new hip trauma

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More must be done to protect teenage rugby players according to medical professionals.

Karl Kavanagh, a registrar in emergency medicine said that there is a “positive movement on protecting young players” in rugby, players are becoming seriously injured with “alarming frequency”.  

Teenage rugby players are suffering injuries similar to ones found in car crash injuries according to a report published today.

The report was undertaken by doctors from the trauma and orthopaedic department at the Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Tallaght, Co. Dublin.

They found that there were three cases of players who were serious injured while being tackled.

The three boys, aged between 13 and 16 all suffered acetabular fractures which affect the socket between the hip and leg bones.

The boys suffered three fractures in total as well as dislocating their hips. Two of the boys were tackled while playing a match while the other suffered the injuries in training.

The players all made a full recovery through extensive rehabilitation but the report warns that more injuries of the nature will become commonplace if the rules aren’t changed.

The report, which was published in the British Medical Journal, says that underage rugby clubs place a significant emphasis on “weight training and physical size”.

Dr David Iain Morrissey, one of the doctors who published the report that the younger players playing the sport are suffering due to “problems associated with extensive force in an immature skeleton.”

The report comes just days after the publishing of a report by 70 doctors from Britain and Ireland called for a ban on tackling in underage rugby.

The proposed ban would apply to under 18s and has caused some controversy from around the world of rugby union. Players such as Jamie Roberts and Richard Wigglesworth have come out strongly against the proposed ban

Speaking about the ban, Dr. Kavanagh said serious injuries “should be prevented in younger people for as long as possible until they have the capacity to make their own choices.”

A study carried out by World Rugby, the organisation that runs Rugby Union, carried out a survey of their members and found that 92% of parents felt that the benefits of sport outweigh the risks.

Aidan Delaney


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