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Old 01-12-2015, 11:50 PM   #1
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UIL releases report of top injuries in high school sports

Whether it's football or another sport, more Texas high schools are reporting a growing number of sports-related injuries.

The cheerleaders, the band, the hits and injuries are all part of high school sports.

Just ask Porter Bretches, a junior at Memorial High School. He sprained his ankle on the football field.

"I sprained it by landing really hard on the flat of my foot," he said. "It felt almost like my leg went down into my ankle."

Porter is in good company. In the 2012-2013 school year, more than 1,100 student athletes in Texas reported sprains.

That number jumped to more than 1,800 last school year.

The state's University Interscholastic League, known as the UIL, tracks the number of sports-related injuries in Texas.

Local 2 got a copy of the most recent report

"Sprains are very common in football," West Houston orthopedic surgeon Dr. Carl Palumbo said. "And probably one of the more common injuries in high school sports. A sprained ankle, you hear that all the time. It's a very common injury.

Palumbo treats student athletes for all types of injuries. He says some injuries are just part of the game like the second-most common injury reported.

"Bruises are very common," he said. "It's from a soft tissue. It's from an impact typically.

Other more serious injuries like concussions can lead to dangerous long-term consequences if left untreated.

In the 2012-2013 school year, 322 concussions were reported statewide. The next year, that number went up to 533 with more schools reporting concussions to the state.

Palumbo attributes the rise in reported concussions to awareness, especially with the number of NFL players coming forward to say they sustained chronic head trauma during their years on the field.

"Actually, athletes are aware of what a concussion is," Palumbo said. "So, they bring symptoms to be physician's attention sooner than they did in the past. Now with that, some of them aren't concussions but at least they are bringing those symptoms to our attention so we can evaluate and make sure it's not a concussion."

Palumbo says players are sometimes anxious to return to the field and may not reveal all of their symptoms. But he warns there are potentially dangerous consequences of returning to action too soon.

"There's a condition called second impact syndrome," Palumbo said. "Second impact syndrome is where you have another concussion prior to the first concussion fully healing, which can cause even more significant injury to the brain."

Rounding out the top five injuries -- fractures and dislocations. Whatever the injury, Palumbo says make sure you're healed and ready before coming back into competition.

"I probably came back too early," Bretches said. "But I wanted to play the last week with the team and practice. I didn't really get to play."

Palumbo adds that there are symptoms of sports-related head trauma parents should watch out for. They include headaches and nausea, feeling tired or having trouble focusing in school.

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