York ENT Blog

Laryngeal Fractures and Lacrosse

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August 27  |  Blog, York ENT Blog  |   Dr James Rejowski

DSC_0427I was catching up on my reading recently and came upon an article of particular interest to me since my son John is a lacrosse player at the University of Iowa.

Drs. Kelley and French from the SUNY Department of Otolaryngology  in Syracuse N.Y. described three cases of fracture of the larynx which occurred when a player was struck with the ball.

Although lacrosse is an increasingly popular sport, to the point where my cousin’s son in Poland plays on a team there, some explanation to the uninitiated might be helpful. The lacrosse ball is made of hard rubber and it is propelled by a basket at the end of a stick at speeds up to ninety miles per hour. I have dents on my car to attest to this. The players wear a helmet with a face mask, protective gloves, and shoulder pads but for the most part their body is unprotected. The pace of the game is fast and they are very skilled at passing, catching, and shooting on the run, but just the same they still receive contact in unprotected areas.

The larynx has a framework composed of cartilage and fractures of it are usually associated with major trauma from motor vehicle accidents and assaults, not athletic injuries. They are characterized by the sudden onset of painful swallowing, change in the voice, bruising, and expectoration of blood from the throat. In the most severe cases difficulty breathing may occur. Immediate recognition of such an injury by players, coaches, and trainers is imperative. Prompt medical attention and consultation by an Otolaryngologist-Head & Neck surgeon is required. CT scanning of the neck, fiberoptic examination of the larynx, and evaluation under anesthesia may be required. Treatment ranges from careful observation to open surgical repair depending upon the severity of the injury.

These types of injuries are infrequent and are not unique to lacrosse. I myself have treated baseball and basketball players with similar injuries. In any sport it is important to recognize that there is a potential for untoward events, and to know how to recognize and address them.

Reference: Laryngeal Fractures in Lacrosse Due to High Speed Ball Impact; Christopher French, MD; Richard Kelley, MD; JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Volume 139, Number 7, pages 735-738, July 2013.

York ENT Surgical Consultants has joined Adventist Health Partners

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February 2  |  Blog, York ENT Blog  |   James Rejowski

It’s hard for me to believe but in June of this year I will have completed thirty years in practice. When I completed my training at Rush, I joined Dr. Bulger at our current location in Hinsdale, and have been here ever since. Single specialty groups like ours were the norm at that time; multi-specialty or system owned groups existed but were uncommon around here.

A marked change has occurred over the past five to ten years. Physicians have increasingly looked for affiliation with larger entities. There are many reasons for this but basically such affiliations allow us to continue to practice as we have, in a patient focused and patient centered manner, while at the same time providing us with the information technology, electronic medical record, quality improvement and other supports that we need to go on.

Adventist Health Partners is a growing physician group of over 190 doctors with more than 50 locations within the western suburbs. Affiliated with Adventist Midwest Health, our goal is to emphasize education and preventative medicine, as well as the restoration of health when illness strikes. It was named as one of the fastest growing healthcare companies headquartered in the United States by Modern Healthcare magazine and is one of seven physician group practices who made the list. It was the only one named in the Chicago area.

We are all very excited about joining our medical and administrative colleagues within Adventist Health Partners. Our physicians, audiologists, staff, locations and hours of service remain unchanged. We look forward to having the opportunity to continue to provide comprehensive medical and surgical care in Otolaryngology/Head and Neck surgery to the people of our community.