Posted on November 2, 2009

The Old Greenwich-Riverside Community Center (OGRCC) and the Greenwich-based ONS Foundation for Clinical Research and Education will present a FREE seminar: “The Female Athlete and Preventing Sports Injuries in Girls” on Thursday, November 12 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.  Primary-care sports medicine physician Gloria Cohen, M.D. and orthopedic sports medicine specialist Katherine Vadasdi, MD want parents and their daughters to know about the unique risks girls have for potentially serious injuries and what can be done to avoid them. The program, which is open to girls, ages 11 to 19 and their parents, will take place at the OGRCC headquarters, 90 Harding Road in Old Greenwich. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. Registration is required. Call (203) 637 3659 or email ogrcc.execasst@yahoo.com.

Dr. Cohen and Dr. Vadasdi will discuss why some injuries are unique to girls and how girls’ biomechanics and nutritional needs differ from boys’.  The doctors will discuss danger signs and symptoms of injuries, overuse injuries and they will explain the various risk factors of different sports. They’ll also talk about ACL injuries, and the “female athlete triad;” a syndrome that includes the loss of periods, disordered eating and osteoporosis.

“One of the most important aspects of preventing sports injuries in girls is recognizing the signs and symptoms of minor conditions,” says Dr. Cohen who takes an integrative approach to medical management, considering a patient’s biomechanics, cardiovascular, and pulmonary function as it relates to athletic performance. “Too often girls ignore early warning signs of a condition or injury and continue to play, making a minor injury worse. For example, shin pain might not be due to shin splints or muscle strain, but can be a symptom of a hairline or more serious fracture.” Both doctors agree that a team approach to keeping athletes safe and injury free is best. They say the athlete, parents and coaches all need to work together.

A recognized authority on sports medicine in the United States and Canada, Dr. Cohen serves as primary care team physician for the Columbia University varsity athletic teams and lectures for the Columbia Department of Orthopedics. She has served as team physician for the Canadian National Olympic Cycling Team for 14 years and as team physician for the Canadian fencing team. She was a member of the Canadian medical team for the Olympic games in Seoul, Atlanta, and Sydney, and will serve on the medical team again at the upcoming 2010 Olympic games in Vancouver in February.

Dr. Vadasdi is an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine and the shoulder and elbow. She performed a residency in orthopedics at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York and completed fellowship training in shoulder, elbow and sports medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, Department of Orthopedics.

Both physicians are accomplished athletes as well. Dr. Cohen is a successful competitive runner, consistently placing among the top ten in her age category in races throughout the United States. She has qualified twice for the New York Marathon. She is also an off-road and road cyclist.

Dr. Vadasdi is an experienced triathlete and recently completed her second Ironman competition in Brazil. She is also an alpine climber and has ascended Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Rainier and the Grand Teton, among others.

“Preventing Sports Injuries in Girls” is a program by the ONS Foundation for Clinical Research and Education. The goal of the ONS Foundation is to improve standards of excellence for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders through clinical research, physician and patient education, and community outreach programs. Injury prevention seminars available to community groups, include prevention of skiing and snowboarding injuries, ACL injury prevention, and rotator cuff and golf injury prevention. For more information about the ONS Foundation for Clinical Research and Education, call Ifeoma Inneh at (203) 869 3131.