May 2019 • Volume 12, No. 5

From the Editor

As spring makes its way into summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, heavy clothes give way to lighter ones and daylight lasts longer. It just feels natural to move more.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has named May National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Their slogan: Go play and #Move in May.

But given our surgical focus, it’s a short mental hop from playing sports to sports injuries and surgeries. In this issue we bring you resources about sports med surgeries connected to some injuries that can spring from summer activities like baseball, track, football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis,cycling and more.

Our crossword puzzle this month is on Surgery of the Biliary Tract, Pancreas, Liver and  Spleen. Our Student in the Spotlight is Anna Gray, RN, of Stevenson Ranch, CA.

And of course you will find jobs we’ve collected for you, along with NIFA’s favorite links.


Julie Lancaster, Editor


Teen Tommy John Surgeries, Youth Sports Injuries Reach Epidemic Proportions

“When Tommy John underwent the revolutionary surgical procedure on his left elbow in 1974 that would become his namesake, it was a desperate measure to save a valuable pitcher’s major league career,” writes Craig Davis in the South Florida Sun Sentinel.  [Tommy John surgery is a surgical graft procedure in which the ulnar collateral ligament in the medial elbow is replaced.]

“More than 40 years later, it has become commonplace for an injury that has reached epidemic proportions at all levels of baseball.” The article goes on to explore the reasons for the surge in youth sports injuries over the past 20 years, and to caution that “early specialization in a single sport is one of the strongest precursors of injury.” Read more . . .


Top Orthopedic Sports Medicine Procedures

“About 11 athletes out of 100 participating in the Olympic Games will face an injury, based on the data from the last three editions,” reads an article from a 2018 Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research. The article explores the most commonly performed orthopedic sports medicine procedures and the challenges of helping athletes heal. “The deeply engrained strong desire to return to play, within the shortest time, is the main challenge for sport medicine surgeons and drives treatment choices.” Read more . . .

Sports-Related Emergency Department Visits and Hospital Inpatient Stays

The US Government’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) offers a statistical brief showing the frequency of emergency department visits by type of sports activity. Is it a surprise that “team or group sports” and “individual sports” (like bicycle riding, roller skating, horseback riding, and golf) together account for 72% of emergency department visits?

Percentage of Sports-related Emergency Department Visits (discharged) and Hospital Inpatient Stays by General Type of Sports Activity, 2013

Read the entire statistical briefing here.

ACL Resources

The OrthoInfo website, from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, offers some good general resources on ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) injuries and treatment, including surgeryRead more . . .


Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction with Neil Bradbury. Bradbury is a specialist knee surgeon based in England. In this video, he explains the procedure while carrying it out. Watch video . . .

ACL Surgery – 3D. From Nucleus Medical Media. This videoshows a knee surgery ACL repair. The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is one of the four main ligaments connecting the femur to the tibia. It provides stability as the knee moves. Watch video . .

UCL Reconstruction Graftlink Technique (Tommy John Surgery). Orlando Orthopaedic Center’s Randy S. Schwartzberg, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in Sports Medicine, discusses what’s involved with an Elbow Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) or Tommy John surgery. Watch video . . .

UCL Surgery – 3D Reconstruction
from Immersive Media. This video shows the primary components of a UCL surgery. Watch video . . .

Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery, explained by Ohio State Sports Medicine shoulder specialist Dr. Julie Bishop. (You may be asked to sign in to confirm your age, as the video may be inappropriate for some users.) Watch video . . .


ACL Knee Surgery & Injury Recovery – By Curovate. This app, designed by a physical therapist, is intended for athletes and non-athletes to use after ACL knee injury, surgery or ACLS. It provides video-guided daily exercises for use during six months of rehab, tools for tracking progress, timing exercise and rep sets, and tracking compliance rate. (For Android) Read about app . . .

Surgery of the Biliary Tract, Pancreas, Liver and Spleen

Test your knowledge of surgical procedures involving the biliary tract, pancreas, liver and spleen with this month’s all-new crossword puzzle.

When you’re ready to check your answers, follow this link to see how well you did. Good luck!


Student Spotlight: Anna Gray, RN


Student Status
Student in NIFA’s RNFA program

City & State
Stevenson Ranch, CA

Current Position  
RN, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center

Where did you get your RN degree?
La Pierce College — Reseda, CA

How did you come to choose perioperative nursing?
I was working as a surgical tech first.

What is the scariest moment you’ve ever seen at the table?
Thoracic case, massive bleed, surgeon was calm and walked me through every step. I was terrified but survived the case. Patient survived.

What is one technique or RNFA trick you’ve learned from NIFA that you will use for life?  
All of the hands-on skills were invaluable. Listening to someone who currently practices is helpful.

How do you feel having your RNFA will impact your life/career?
It will completely change my career focus. Stepping into a new role.

Jobs Front

Click here for the RNFA job postings we’ve collected for you this month.

NIFA – Office Hours

Monday-Thursday, 8:00am – 4:00pm
Friday, 8:00am – 3:00pm

Practice Resources

Here are several of the most-in-demand sites for our students, prospective students and grads:

MD Edge Surgery News: Specialty News and Commentaries, Videos and More
RNFA Scope of Practice by State (PDF)
ACS List of Cases that Require an Assistant at Surgery, 2018 (PDF)
Perioperative Nurse Links (state nursing boards & professional associations)
APRN Nurse Links

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this newsletter are strictly those of their respective authors and do not necessarily represent the views of NIFA. NIFA does not give any express or implied warranty as to the accuracy of statements made by our contributors and does not accept any liability for error or omission. It is the responsibility of all perioperative personnel to work within and adhere to their facility bylaws and individual scope of practice.

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