AAOS Bulletin - December, 2005

Sports and fitness stories score big points

By Stephen S. Hurst, MD, and Carlye Fallon

Media stories related to orthopaedics contributed to the record-high number of 1.5 million page views on the Academy’s patient education Web site, “Your Orthopaedic Connection” in October. Some online visits may have been fueled by coverage stemming from a New York City media event, “Life Cycle of the Athlete,” co-hosted by the AAOS and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. Held at Madison Square Garden, the October event provided reporters with the latest research on how athletes can stay healthy, fit and injury-free throughout all stages of life.

Initial event-related media coverage included an Associated Press article picked up by more than 50 newspapers across the country. The article quoted orthopaedic surgeon Vonda J.

Wright, MD, who spoke about active seniors. PARADE magazine—via its widely-read weekly “Guide to Better Fitness” column—quoted Letha Y. “Etty” Griffin, MD, PhD, on anterior cruciate ligament and knee injury protection for women, and featured Academy-provided statistics, graphics and resources.

In the Nov. 25 issue of LIFE magazine, a story on medical breakthroughs cites AAOS statistics on joint replacement and includes comments from Mary I. O’Connor, MD, and Nicholas A. DiNubile, MD. The holiday issue of Woman’s Day features a four-page article on preventing back pain that includes several references to the Academy’s book, When Your Body Aches, and insights from Edward A. Toriello, MD; Ramon L. Jimenez, MD; Stephanie E. Siegrist, MD; and Dr. DiNubile.

Sports-related research from recent issues of the Journal of the AAOS piqued the interest of numerous consumer media outlets. A story based on a core stability study was published in Knight Ridder-affiliated newspapers nationwide. Authors Andrew L. Chen, MD, and Barry P. Boden, MD, were guests on more than 20 radio shows across the country—including stations in New York City, Atlanta, Seattle and Baltimore—discussing their respective research on aging athletes and catastrophic sports injuries.

The expertise of the Academy’s various specialty societies—including the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons and the Orthopaedic Research Society—was invaluable in responding to queries by reporters across the country.

The Boston Globe featured a story debating the pros and cons of minimally invasive surgery, which was picked up by several other major newspapers. The article included AAOS statistics and quotes from Jay R. Lieberman, MD; Richard A. Berger, MD; Lawrence D. Dorr, MD; James V. Bono, MD; and Andrew A. Freiberg, MD.

The Wall Street Journal’s “Hunting and Gathering” column cited an AAOS and American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society foot study on the dangers of wearing high-heeled shoes.

Highlights from the Prevent Injuries America! autumn program included a feature story on ladder safety in the Chicago Tribune, leaf-raking safety tips in the Houston Chronicle, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Arizona Republic and Sacramento Bee, and safe Halloween behaviors as part of a United Press International story and a WBBM-AM (CBS) Chicago radio broadcast.

Stephen S. Hurst, MD, is a member of the Public Education and Media Relations (PEMR) Committee. Carlye Fallon is a media relations specialist in the PEMR department. To become a volunteer spokesperson for the AAOS, contact the PEMR department at julitz@aaos.org

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