Sports Injuries - Pediatric

Accidents happen. After a minor sports injury, many young athletes recover with rest and time away from the sport. If an injury is more serious, further treatment may be necessary.

Types

  • Dislocated joints
  • Fractures
  • Growth plate injuries
  • Pulled, strained or swollen muscles
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Tendon injuries

Symptoms

Symptoms vary depending on the injury, but common symptoms include:

  • Being unable to place weight on the injured body part
  • Joint immobility or difficulty moving joints
  • Pain or tenderness in the injured area
  • Swelling of the injured area
  • Visibly dislocated joint or bone

Prevention

  • Schedule a physical before the child begins playing sports to ensure he or she is healthy enough to participate.
  • Make sure the child uses the right equipment, shoes and clothing for his or her sport.
  • Encourage the child to warm up before playing, as well as cool down and stretch afterward.
  • Tell the child to stop playing if he or she feels hurt.
  • See Thrower's Ten workout to help strengthen shoulder muscles.

Risk factors

All sports carry some risk for injury, but some participants are at a higher risk due to:

  • Growth spurts or imbalance in children
  • Improper technique
  • Playing sports without warming up or stretching

Diagnosis

  • Medical history and symptom review. The healthcare provider will ask about sports participation, how the injury occurred, any previous injuries and current symptoms.
  • Physical examination. The doctor will examine the child’s injury to determine what treatment is necessary.
  • Imaging. Depending on the child’s injury, X-rays, MRIs or CT scans may be necessary.

Treatment

Follow-up care

  • Children should limit activity while healing.
  • The injury should be completely healed before the child returns to the sport.

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