Let’s Talk About Soccer Injuries in Pediatric Orthopedics

As a San Diego pediatric orthopedist, I see a lot of young people and their parents for sports injuries. In many cases, these injuries are simple bangs and twists which will heal over time – but for a small minority, pediatric sports injuries suggest a larger pattern which foretells future health issues down the line.

Soccer is a surprisingly common culprit for injuries such as these, especially given the recent attention that football has received. Like football, soccer is still a contact sport, and some evidence suggests that it’s becoming a more common source of injuries as well:

The injury rate for youth soccer players aged 7 to 17 more than doubled over the 25-year period ending in 2014, according to an analysis of children treated in U.S. hospitals. Even though concussions accounted for just 7 percent of these injuries, the annual rate of concussions surged by almost 1,600 percent during the same period.

Soccer is certainly growing more popular, and that fact alone could account for some of the increase: no one has done a “per capita” study that I’m aware of. But there is a second hypothesis which may have some merit as well: the incidence of injuries has stayed flat, but parents and coaches are much more cautious today than they used to be about seeking medical care:

It’s also possible some of the increase in injuries came from a growing awareness of concussions and head traumas that prompts more kids to be treated in hospitals, Xiang said.

Whatever the case, it’s important to get treated and provide some test for young athletes as soon as possible. For the best sports medicine for kids in San Diego, contact the San Diego pediatric orthopedic offices of Dr. William Holland, MD, today.

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