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There is a presentation in the Supplement to the Journal of Athletic Training entitled Anterior Compartment Syndrome and Tibial Stress Fracture in a Lacrosse Goalie.

This is a case study that: 1)underlines the use of injury prevention techniques to help reduce injury potential, and 2)highlights an unique cause of anterior compartment syndrome, which is generally an overuse-type injury.

In this case, a collegiate female lacrosse goalie sustained repeated blows to her left tibia with a lacrosse ball. She was repeatedly coaxed by the Athletic Trainer to wear proper shin protection but to no avail. The goalie refused to wear proper shin protection until it was too late and ended up anterior compartment syndrome and a tibial stress fracture of the left lower leg.

As a result, she was disqualified from participating in lacrosse in order to allow for proper healing and missed playing time as a result. In the end, a preventable injury ended up costing both the player and the team.

So some lessons learned from this:

    1. We need to be aware that anterior compartment syndrome and tibial stress fractures are certainly not limited to overuse mechanisms – repeated blows can also cause this type of injury
    2. Coaches and players need to comply with injury prevention strategies recommended by the athletic trainer.
    3. We may need to be pretty creative, emphatic,…(add word here) to get people not thinking real clearly to do so – for their own good

      One final comment – as athletic trainers, we need to do our best to find ways to make that decision a no-brainer. Maybe this case study will serve as proof that you can use to help convince those you work with to make better decisions. I am certainly not laying any blame on the athletic trainer – there is an old saying that goes “Those convinced against there will are of the same opinion still” – but for emphasis, let’s try to exhaust every available option outside of brute physical force (sarcasm intended) to drive home the perils of making dumb decisions.

      Thank you to the authors for sharing this case study with us so that we can use this as a teachable moment for our athletes who may not always be looking at the big picture.

      What situations have you encountered where someone has gone against your advice and ended up worse off?

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