In the last several years Nev has noticed a huge increase in the number of sports injuries around the knee in children and has found more and more young children and teenagers requiring surgical intervention. The most striking increase is in the numbers of injuries related to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This is a devastating injury for the young athlete, in both the short term, with a year off sports and a lengthy rehabilitation, but also in the long term for the increased risk of knee arthritis in their young adult lives. It was estimated that the NHS spent £63 million on ACL reconstructions in 2018. If injury prevention programs were in place, this could potentially prevent 50% of these injuries happening in the first place, with massive savings to the individual, the family, their teams and the wider health service.
There is plenty of good data from lots of studies around the world particularly Scandinavia, Australia and the US showing that youth injury prevention programs, when carried out correctly are successful in reducing numbers of significant injuries in children’s sports. Unfortunately, in the UK we are someway behind in even recognising these programs, let alone introducing them into our sports clubs and schools. Different sports bodies do have their own programs, for example, FIFA 11+ for football and Activate for Rugby. However due to many different reasons these programs are only being followed by a small minority of children.
Nev’s has an interest and passion to reduce sporting injuries and promote injury prevention programs. He has been involved in several initiatives in the last few years and started to talk at various conferences about injury prevention:
Warwick Sports Knee Conference at St. Georges Park in Burton-on-Trent 2018
British Orthopaedic Association Congress – Aberdeen 2021
The Kids Knee Conference, Sheffield 2022
Nev has applied for a BSCOS Consultant Bursary which will enable him to travel to visit Dr. Tom Patt and his children’s orthopaedic knee practice in the Netherlands. Tom has developed an extremely successful sports injury prevention program which started locally and was expanded to the whole country. Unfortunately Covid has but the brakes on this trip going ahead but it is still planned.
Nev has made it his mission to bring together all interested parties in the UK to develop a solution which will begin to decrease this injury burden to our UK children.
This year he became a Trustee of an Oxfordshire based Charity – SKIPP. It’s been set up by a group of clinicians to help educate and signpost sports coaches to various programs they can use with their teams. www.skippcharity.org
He recently spoke on the BSCOS research podcast about the charity – listen here
We have exciting plans for the future … watch this space
Nev Davies June 2022