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BREAK-AWAY BASES COULD PREVENT MILLIONS OF AMATEUR BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL INJURIES EACH YEAR, SAYS MAIN LINE ORTHOPAEDIST

 BREAK-AWAY BASES COULD PREVENT MILLIONS OF AMATEUR BASEBALL
 AND SOFTBALL INJURIES EACH YEAR, SAYS MAIN LINE ORTHOPAEDIST
 PHILADELPHIA, June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Using bases on all amateur baseball and softball fields that "break away" on impact could cut the 1.7 million injuries that occur each year from sliding into bases by 96 percent, said Joseph Eremus, M.D., of Main Line Orthopaedic Associates, 101 Bryn Mawr Ave., Bryn Mawr, Pa.
 Each year, base-sliding injuries result in $2.1 billion in health care costs, he said.
 "Each year, this country's 32 million recreational softball and baseball players suffer an unbelievable number of needless injuries," said the orthopaedic surgeon, whose practice focuses on foot and ankle care. "It is time for the break-away base to replace the conventional stationary base that tears ligaments and breaks bones on impact," he said.
 Base sliding is responsible for up to 71 percent of injuries during play, according to an Ann Arbor, Mich., study by the Centers for Disease Control.
 During that same two-year study, Eremus said, 45 base-sliding injuries occurred with the conventional bases that require 3,500 foot- pounds of force to dislodge them. "By contrast," he said, "only two base-sliding injuries were reported with break-away bases that require considerably less force to dislodge."
 Unlike conventional stationary bases, break-away bases give way to the impact of the slider. Roger Hall, Elizabethown, Pa., designed the prototype to allow base-runners to slide through the base without twisting ankles or breaking bones.
 Break-away bases are not just for weekend athletes, Hall said. His bases are on the fields of several professional teams, including those in the Toronto Blue Jays', Detroit Tigers' and Chicago Cubs' minor league systems. They are also used at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pa., and Eastern College, Wayne, Pa. In addition, they will debut this year in the Little League World Series, Williamsport, Pa., and the NCAA Division I Women's Fast-Pitch Softball Championship, Oklahoma City.
 The implementation of break-away bases is advocated by several preventive health care authorities in addition to Eremus. These include: the Centers for Disease Control, the American Medical Association and the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society.
 /delval/
 -0- 6/8/92
 /CONTACT: Amy J. Serafino of Hoover Anwar Marketing Associates, 215-649-8770, for Main Line Orthopaedic Associates/ CO: Main Line Orthopaedic Associates ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA SU:


CC-LJ -- PH028 -- 8073 06/08/92 16:23 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 8, 1992
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