Marching band injuries strike a sour note in emergency rooms

October 20, 2023

United Press International (UPI)

Dr. Ryan Stanton, a vice president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, who practices medicine in Lexington, Ky., told UPI in a telephone interview that he was hurt while playing drums in a college marching band.

"I got injured, so I have firsthand knowledge of these injuries," said Stanton, who said he played in marching bands starting in fifth grade.

Stanton said he hyperextended his left knee while running across an artificial turf with his instrument on during the pregame performance. He limped during that show and wore a knee brace for several weeks.

Awkward instruments

Marching band injuries occur "due to movements of dozens to potentially hundreds of young people on the field with some quite heavy and awkward instruments," Stanton said. "Injuries can be quite common just from tripping, falling on uneven surfaces and then hitting each other."

Carrying a heavy instrument such as a tuba prevents a player from holding out his or her arms to fall on the wrists. While this protective mechanism puts the wrists more at risk for injury, it helps prevent head trauma, he said.

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