17:59 PM

'These kids are ticking time bombs': The threat of youth basketball

ESPN.com reports on the increased risk of overuse injuries in youth basketball players, and the 2016 guidelines issued by the NBA and USA Basketball, which suggest delaying specialization for young players in basketball until they're 14 or older; limiting high-density scheduling based on age-appropriate guidelines through high school; and ensuring rest from organized basketball at least one day a week and extended time away each year.

The guidelines were influenced by a group led by John P. DiFiori, MD, FACSM, chief of Primary Care Sports Medicine Service at HSS, who has been studying youth sports and overuse injuries for more than 25 years. However, the lack of a national governing body for youth basketball makes a uniform system of rules difficult.

ESPN.com spoke to Dr. DiFiori, who said the concerns have only grown more persuasive in the age of specialization. In basketball, overuse can lead to chronic ankle injuries, development of joint and cartilage issues, even spine problems. "I don't think people realize how common back problems are, among NBA athletes," said, Dr. DiFiori. “That sort of accumulation of the injuries, or the development of asymmetries, muscle tendon dysfunction, etc. That certainly can shorten a career span,” he added.

Read the full article at ESPN.com.