Knee, ankle and wrist injuries are common in professional sports. So is heat exhaustion. And we're not even talking about the athletes.
"You can't believe how many ways mascots get injured," says Edward McFarlane, M.D., head of sports medicine and shoulder surgery at Johns Hopkins University.
"They've been hit by golf carts, fallen on stairs and gotten in fights, among other mishaps."
The esteemed Baltimore institution surveyed 48 mascots for pro baseball, basketball and football teams and presented its findings to the American College of Sports Medicine.
Among the costumed performers who responded, 58% said they had experienced heat illness from donning the fur or feathers, and half have required intravenous fluids. The 48 mascots reported 179 injuries, 22 of which required surgery.
Knees were the most often injured, accounting for 17% of all reported incidents. Hands, wrists and fingers fell victim 14% of the time, while 13% of injuries were to the ankles. About 44% said they suffered from chronic lower-back pain.
McFarlane says heat illnesses could be reduced by building costumes from lighter materials and by rotating several people through the suit in hot weather.
"Also, if the costumes allowed the mascots' feet to be free, they might have more control and reduce the incidence of falls."
Long live Dad. Were you stumped as to how to best express your appreciation for dear old Dad? Well, a Milwaukee physician has just the answer.
Stuart Suster, M.D., of the Great Lakes Pain Center offered fathers a coupon for a free exam and consultation. "Happy Father's Day," the release exclaimed. "Share with your father the gift of good health and longevity."
Instead of blast-faxing a magazine, the good doctor could find more takers if he distributed coupons at high schools or driver's license testing centers.
Food on the fly. Stuck in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport again? Take heart: You don't have to rely on artery-clogging food while grounded with thousands of your fellow passengers.
A recent survey from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine found that O'Hare ranked third of the nation's 10 busiest airports for healthy fare.
Topping the list was San Francisco's airport, followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul. Denver and Los Angeles round out the top five.
Good luck sticking to your diet at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, which ranked last. The committee's dietitian was upset at the amount of greasy food at most airports. Wait 'til someone tells her about the delays.
Hop on the lobby train. The Mississippi delegation to the annual AMA House of Delegates meeting in June knew what its priorities were.
The delegation introduced a resolution that would relocate the AMA headquarters from Chicago to Washington.
"In the view of most of its members, our American Medical Association's most important function is representing the interests of physicians before Congress and the executive branch of government," read the resolution, which was voted down. "Our AMA would signal its intent to make government advocacy its top priority by relocating its headquarters to the Washington, D.C., area."
Government relations is the AMA's top priority? Yikes. Don't let any patients hear that.
Thou shalt not. Joe Stallings, M.D., of Jonesboro, Ark., turned to the New Testament last month to denounce an AMA House of Delegates resolution on gifts to physicians from pharmaceutical and other sales representatives.
"We need to take the big log out of our own eye before we take the speck out of our members' eyes," he said.
Delegates heard more than a dozen resolutions addressing strained relations between physicians and drug companies. Stallings' committee was handling a resolution from the Minnesota delegation that proposed the AMA set policy limits on gifts from sales reps to physicians.
Paraphrasing Matthew and Luke, the family practitioner said it was hypocritical of the organization to point fingers at physicians when it was taking millions of dollars from drug companies.
Stallings confessed he once took a Christmas turkey as a gift.
"How was it?" someone in the room shouted to him.
"It was dry," Stallings quipped.