What to Do When Your Child’s Shoulder Gets Dislocated

The chances of a shoulder dislocation happening to your kid are higher than you may think. To get an idea of how a dislocation happens, imagine the shoulder as a golf ball sitting on a tee. The dislocation happens when the golf ball comes out of the socket.

Because the shoulder has a wide range of motion and can move in different directions, it is considered as the body’s most mobile joint. However, this quality comes at a price: the joint is increasingly unstable, which makes the shoulder vulnerable and easy to dislocate.

Dislocation happens the moment the adjoining bones are no longer aligned with each other. The direction of the dislocation can be at the front (anterior) or at the bottom (inferior), but rarely at the back (posterior).

Causes of Shoulder Dislocation

Shoulder dislocations are caused by injuries from contact sports such as football. Anterior shoulder dislocations happen when the arm is outstretched and is then forced backwards, something that frequently happens during arm tackling in football. Dislocations can also be caused by significant trauma not necessarily related to sports, such as during a fall or a vehicle accident.

Dislocations are often quite painful, and are usually accompanied by swelling, bruising, and tenderness. There may even be partial numbness and inability to move the joint.

Difference between Subluxation and Dislocation

Dislocation means that the shoulder’s ball and socket have been disconnected from each other, while subluxation is a type of dislocation where there is less trauma, and the ball and socket are not fully separated.

Treatment for Shoulder Dislocation

If your child’s shoulder gets dislocated, the first course of action is to put the injured shoulder in a splint or sling, then put some ice to reduce the swelling and relieve the pain.

The next step is to seek professional medical attention. You will need to consult with a San Diego pediatric orthopedic surgeon to put your child’s shoulder back into place. This process is called reduction.

What are Overuse Injuries, and How Do You Prevent Them?

The rise in the number of young people participating in organized and recreational sport has led to an increase of sports-related injuries. There are two types of injuries that happen to children: acute and overuse. Acute injuries are the result of a single, traumatic event, such as a sprained ankle or a dislocated shoulder.

On the other hand, overuse injuries are repetitive actions that cause a lot of stress and trauma on the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. These injuries are often subtle and occur over a period of time, making them difficult to diagnose and treat. Examples of overuse injuries are tennis elbow, Achilles tendinitis, shin splint, and ACL tear.

Causes of Overuse Injuries

Overuse injuries happen when there is an increase in the intensity, duration, or frequency while playing a sport, without giving enough time for the body to fully recover. The injury can also be exacerbated if the excessive physical activity is combined with inadequate warm up, improper technique, or unsuitable equipment.

Prevention of Overuse Injuries

To prevent this type of injury from happening, have the child learn about proper form and technique from a coach or trainer. Any increase in training intensity should not be more than 10% at any given time. Avoid sports specialization until late adolescence; instead, encourage the child to try out a variety of sports.

Also stress the importance of having a rest day to recover both physically and mentally. If an overuse injury persists, consult with a San Diego pediatric orthopedic doctor to come up with a more detailed treatment plan for your child.

At the end of the day, the goal is to help your child become a well-rounded person who enjoys doing physical activities. An overuse injury can sideline and blindside your young athlete, so make sure to promote a healthy balance of play and rest.

8 Ways to Prevent Summer Sports Injuries

Summer is a great time for children. After being dormant for most of winter, most of them are raring to come out and play in order to make the most out of the warm weather.

Unfortunately, some of these summer sports activities could inevitably lead to injuries, if the child and the parents are not being careful. Children are more at risk for sports injuries because they are less coordinated and have a slower reflex than adults.

It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt. Don’t let it be your child. To reduce your child’s risk of getting injured, make sure they do the following:

Be prepared. An improper technique and poor form can take its toll on the body. Before giving them your permission, make sure they know how to play the sport and understand the rules of the game.

Warm up and cool down. Remind them to warm up before practice sessions and actual games, and to cool down after they have finished playing.

Stay hydrated. Don’t wait until your child gets thirsty before asking them to drink. Make sure the kid stays replenished by having them drink water before, during, and after an activity to prevent heat-related injuries.

Wear protective gear. Always check if your child wears protective gear all throughout the game.

Have qualified adult supervision. You won’t be able to watch every game, but having a qualified coach around who knows how to respond to emergencies can be a huge relief.

Have fun, but know your limits. If your kid is trying out a new sport, advise them to be patient and learn to work their way through it.

Take time off. Make sure the kid is taking a day (or two) off every week. Taking regular breaks prevents overuse injuries and allows the body to recover and heal naturally.

Consult with a professional. If your child suffers from a knee, ankle, or shoulder injury, consult with a San Diego pediatric orthopedic doctor for treatment options.

Is It Growing Pains or Something Else Entirely?

In a previous blog post, I’ve already discussed what growing pains are, and how to treat them. Growing pains are quite normal, and are a somewhat painful reality that every child has to go through on their way to adulthood.

Growing pains are often a delayed reaction to an extremely physical activity done earlier in the day. Unfortunately, they can also be confused with other serious medical conditions, which is why you need to be on your guard when your child is complaining about achy limbs. There are many illnesses associated with aching limbs among young children, such as chronic rheumatic disease and childhood arthritis.

It can be tricky to differentiate growing pains from other medical problems, but here are the four signs to watch out for:

Pain is experienced in the morning. Growing pains usually happen in the late afternoons or early evenings, and are often gone right away. If pain continues to persist in the morning, there could be something more to it.

Pain is in the joints. Growing pains are usually located on the calves or behind the knees. They do not manifest in the joints.

Pain affects only one area. Growing pains are usually bilateral in nature, meaning the pain happens to both sides of the body. If your child’s pain occurs in one leg—not in both legs—it could be a symptom of something else.

Pain is visible. Growing pains should not leave behind any signs, so if they are accompanied by bruising, swelling, rashes, or redness, it could be something else entirely.

No one knows your child better than you. When in doubt, it is always best to consult with a San Diego pediatric orthopedic doctor to rule out other diseases. Having an early diagnosis is the key to your child’s recovery and healing.