Extensive Research Description
With my background of dual fellowships in pediatric orthopaedic surgery and pediatric orthopedic sports medicine, musculoskeletal injuries of the child and adolescent athlete have naturally become my primary academic focus.
Within this broad topic, I have two chief areas of research interest: specifically, I am first interested in trying to better understand the etiology, risk factors and optimal prevention and treatment strategies for common pediatric sports injuries including ACL tear, meniscal tear, shoulder dislocation, femoroacetabular impingement and overuse injuries such as osteochondritis dissecans.
This is relevant because pediatric sports participation has fundamentally changed over time: children and adolescent athletes today participate at increasingly higher levels of sport at increasingly younger ages, often with significant investment of a family’s time and financial resources. As a result, the incidence of significant sports-associated injuries in the United States has been on the rise. However, this increased incidence of pediatric sports injuries has occurred at a time when our fund of scientific knowledge on pediatric sports injuries – traditionally lumped in with adult injuries in the sports medicine world – is scant.
Consequently, while continued efforts at basic and clinical research into pediatric sports injuries are essential for optimizing the quality, safety, and value of care for young athletes, I believe that it is equally important to identify patterns of sports practice that are potentially injurious and then to advocate for policy changes (from simple ones such as implementing pitch counts for little leaguers to more controversial policies such as mandating ACL prevention programs for high school athletes) to ensure that sports participation for kids remains safe and fun.
A more recent area of academic interest for me has been to focus on the sex-based differences in incidence, presentation, and clinical outcomes for common pediatric sports injuries. This interest has stemmed from my committee membership on the Women’s Health Issues Advisory Board for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (WHIAB, AAOS) whose mission is to “…advocate, advance, and serve as a resource on sex and gender differences in musculoskeletal health.” In reality, few data are available to describe sexual dimorphisms in pediatric sports medicine (e.g., there is a significantly higher incidence of ACL tears among female adolescent athletes as compared to their males peers); this fact serves to highlight the need for more “thought leaders” advocating for musculoskeletal research that is free of sex and gender bias. My first foray into this discussion in the orthopedic community was a talk entitled “Gender-based differences in adolescent sports injuries,” given at the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) annual meeting (4/2015).
- Cordelia W. Carter and Lyle J. Micheli. “Sports-related injuries unique to children.” Pediatric Annals 2012; 41(10): 396.
- Cordelia W. Carter, Jason Hoellwarth and Jennifer M. Weiss. “Clinical Outcomes as a Function of Meniscal Stability in the Discoid Meniscus: A Preliminary Report.” Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics 2012; 32(1): 9-14.
- Cordelia W. Carter and Mininder S. Kocher. “Meniscal Repair in Children.” Clinics in Sports Medicine 2012; 31: 135-154.
- Cordelia W. Carter and Lyle J. Micheli. “Training the child athlete: inadequate physical fitness is a risk factor for injury.” British Journal of Sports Medicine 2011; 45: 880-885.
- Cordelia W. Carter and Lyle J. Micheli. “Training the child athlete: how much is enough, how much is too much?” Clinics in Sports Medicine 2011; 30: 679-690.
- Carter CW, Levine WN, Kleweno C, Bigliani L and Ahmad C. “Assessment of Shoulder Range-of-Motion: Introduction of a Novel Patient Self-Assessment Tool.” Arthroscopy 2008; 24(6): 712-17.