A Pediatric Orthopedist Lists the Most Common Sports Injuries in Kids

Kids who play sports subject their bodies to a number of bangs and stresses which were usually designed for adult athletes to endure. This gap, between the biomechanics of sports and the bodies that perform them, can lead to musculoskeletal injuries in young people that are far less common in adults.

Below I have listed some of the major categories of sports injuries to watch out for.

Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repetitive motion is just what it sounds like: something you do over and over in roughly the same way. Many sports require repetitive motions such as pitching, swinging a tennis racket, or kicking a ball, and the stresses introduced by these motions can accumulate over time, leading to bone spurs, strained muscles, and damaged cartilage.

Injuries to the Growth Plate

The primary difference between a child’s bones and an adult’s bones is that the child’s bones are still growing. Breaks and sprains are painful but rarely permanent, but injuries to the growth plates which regulate the lengthening of your child’s bones can be serious. Long bones which are still extending can be stopped in their tracks, requiring an intervention from a pediatric orthopedic surgeon.

Heat and Exhaustion

Many young athletes push themselves beyond what is appropriate or tolerable, especially as the weight of competition begins to make itself known. Frequent rest, hydration and cooling periods are essential, especially if your kid is engaged in a sport with full-body equipment or summer hours.

What causes all these injuries? Focused activity and poor training, mostly, but this list offers a good rubric for parents and coaches who want to eliminate all of the other potential risks first:

  • Sport specialization at a young age
  • Imbalance of strength or joint range of motion
  • Anatomic malalignment
  • Improper footwear
  • Pre-existing condition
  • Growth cartilage less resistant to repetitive microtrauma
  • Intense, repetitive training during periods of growth

For the best pediatric orthopedist in San Diego, just reach out to AOSM anytime.

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