Sleepers: The Subtle Ills That Keep Us AwakeTHE PHYSICIAN AND SPORTSMEDICINE - VOL 24 - NO. 2 - FEBRUARY 96
For the most part, medical problems in young, active individuals are easy to diagnose and not life-threatening. If you confuse a mild strain of a dorsiflexor tendon of the foot with a mild sprain of the foot, it doesn't matter much. You treat them pretty much the same way and they get better.
But occasionally something sneaks up on you that you have to recognize right away. One example is meningococcemia, which must be considered with febrile illnesses in young people—particularly in camps and among team members. An antibiotic in time saves lives, and prophylaxis in the population most intimately exposed—as well as education about signs and symptoms of the disease for people more peripherally exposed—are critical for successfully limiting any outbreak. The diagnosis—and how to avoid an epidemic—are addressed by our Emergencies series editor, Warren B. Howe, MD.
Another sleeper: Picture the football player who takes a hit on the neck during a game, as usual. Afterwards he has a slightly stiff neck but doesn't report it. The next morning he comes in with a little disequilibrium. A concussion? Or could it be a blunt carotid artery injury resulting in a small stroke? Turn to the article by Sandra Carr, MD, and colleagues, for some hints.
Also in this issue, don't miss the article on prescribing exercise effectively for all your patients, with a handy accompanying exercise prescription form. See "Exercise Is Medicine" by Harold Elrick, MD.