Fall is here and with that comes the season of fall youth sports. Millions of parents across the country look forward to seeing their children play in their youth football, soccer, and lacrosse leagues. With your child back on the field, it is important to remember the risk of injury. Over 3.5 million children and teens suffer from sports injuries every year.1 Here are a few of the most common injuries sustained by young athletes:
- Ankle Sprain
Ankle injuries are likely the most common injuries in youth sports. This occurs when the ankle twists or rolls causing the ligaments supporting the ankle to be stretched or torn. An ankle sprain can be treated with rest, targeted exercise, and a break from the sport.
- Knee pain
The two most common types of knee pain sustained in youth sports are patellofemoral pain and Osgood-Schlatter pain. Patellofemoral syndrome, also called Runner’s knee, can result from muscle imbalance and overuse in high-contact sports. Osgood-Schlatter is a condition in young athletes involving the overuse of the growth plate just below the kneecap. Most knee injuries can be healed using the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method. Additionally, physical therapy can aid in strengthening the muscle around the knee to provide support and avoid further injury.
- ACL Tear
One of the most severe injuries sustained in youth sports is an ACL tear. This injury occurs when the anterior cruciate ligament, which stabilizes the knee, is twisted and torn. This injury most often requires surgery and requires a 7-9 month recovery period away from athletic activity in order for a full recovery.
- Little League’s elbow
Little League’s elbow is the classical example of an overuse injury. Caused by repetitive throwing, this injury results in inflammation of the growth plate inside the elbow. This can often be treated using the RICE method, but sometimes surgical intervention is necessary.
Brain injuries are some of the dangerous injuries for your child to sustain. Concussions are considered to be traumatic brain injuries and result from a large impact on the head. Depending on the severity of the concussion, recovery may be quick or further complications may arise.
The risk of injury depends on the sport and the measures taken by the parent and child to avoid injury. It is important to take extra precautions when your child is involved in high-contact sports such as football or lacrosse. Though, all sports have the potential for injury from contact collision or chronic misuse of a body part.
If your young athlete has suffered from a sports injury you should contact Advanced Joint Replacement for a consultation today!
Dr. Yaser A. Metwally is board-certified by both the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. He received his fellowship of Reconstructive Surgery from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Advanced Joint Replacement specializes in hip and knee replacement surgery, treatment of the shoulder and elbow, and trauma and sports medicine.