COMMON SPORTS RELATED INJURIES IN YOUNG ATHLETES

The number of injuries in young children and high school athletes has increased and that’s why we have been involved in Injury Prevention for young athletes in our community. We have hosted multiple Injury Prevention Clinics and have partnered with Stop Sports Injuries to help educate young athletes, parents, and coaches. As Physical Therapists we are well equipped to see young athletes with sports related injuries including…..

Severs Disease
Sever’s disease is a common cause of heel pain in growing kids, especially those who are physically active. It usually occurs during the growth spurt of adolescence, the approximately 2-year period in early puberty when kids grow most rapidly. This growth spurt can begin any time between the ages of 8 and 13 for girls and 10 and 15 for boys.

If you want more in depth information on the diagnosis and treatment of Severs disease watch Dr. Larry Nassar, DO discuss Severs at length

Little League Shoulder

Little League shoulder is caused by lots of throwing. Repetitive throwing puts stress on the growth plate, and the growth plate becomes irritated. In severe cases, the stress may lead to a small break in the growth plate.It occurs most often in pitchers but can occur in other baseball players and other athletes who do repetitive overhead movements with their arms, such as tennis and volleyball players.

Little League Elbow

Little League elbow is a common overuse injury associated with throwing. This injury is most common in pitchers but also occurs in catchers, infielders, and outfielders. Little League elbow is the result of repetitive stress to the growth plate on the inside of the elbow. The greatest stress occurs during the acceleration phase of throwing a baseball.

Sinding-Larsen-Johansson syndrome

Sinding-Larsen-Johansson (SLJ) syndrome is a painful knee condition that most commonly affects teens during periods of rapid growth. Repetitive stress on the patellar tendon can cause this growth plate to become irritated and inflamed. SLJ mostly happens to people between the ages of 10 and 15 because that’s when most of us have growth spurts. SLJ is more common in teens who play sports that require a lot of running or jumping, because these activities put excess or repetitive strain on the knee.

27 COMMON SPORTS RELATED INJURIES IN YOUNG ATHLETES

Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter disease is an inflammation of the bone, cartilage, and/or tendon at the top of the shinbone (tibia), where the tendon from the kneecap (patella) attaches. Most often only one knee is affected. OSD usually strikes active adolescents around the beginning of their growth spurts, the approximately 2-year period during which they grow most rapidly. Growth spurts can begin any time between the ages of 8 and 13 for girls, or 10 and 15 for boys. OSD has been more common in boys, but as more girls participate in sports, this is changing.

28 COMMON SPORTS RELATED INJURIES IN YOUNG ATHLETES

If you want more in depth information on the diagnosis and treatment of Osgood-Schlatter disease watch Dr. Larry Nassar, DO discuss Osgood-Schlatter disease at length

Burners/Stingers

Burners and stingers are common injuries in contact or collision sports. A burner or a stinger is an injury to the nerve supply of the upper arm, either at the neck or shoulder.

29 COMMON SPORTS RELATED INJURIES IN YOUNG ATHLETES

In a fall, nerves can be stretched when the player takes a hit on the top of the shoulder, causing the neck to be driven one way and the arm to be driven the other way.

Burner and stinger symptoms typically occur in one arm only. They usually last seconds to minutes, but in 5% to 10 % of cases, they can last hours, days, or even longer. The most common symptoms of a burner or stinger include:

  • A burning or electric shock sensation
  • Arm numbness and weakness immediately following the injury
  • A warm sensation

Spondylolisthesis:”slipped disc”

The most common cause of low back pain in adolescent athletes that can be seen on X-ray is a stress fracture in one of the bones (vertebrae) that make up the spinal column. It usually affects the fifth lumbar vertebra in the lower back and, much less commonly, the fourth lumbar vertebra.

If the stress fracture weakens the bone so much that it is unable to maintain its proper position, the vertebra can start to shift out of place. If too much slippage occurs, the bones may begin to press on nerves and surgery may be necessary to correct the condition.

30 COMMON SPORTS RELATED INJURIES IN YOUNG ATHLETES

Osteocondritis Dissecans

Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is a joint condition in which a piece of cartilage, along with a thin layer of the bone beneath it, comes loose from the end of a bone.

OCD is most common in the knee. But, OCD can occur in other joints. If the loosened piece of cartilage and bone stays close to where it detached, you may have few or no symptoms of OCD, and the fracture may heal by itself. Surgical repair may be necessary if the fragment comes loose and gets caught between the moving parts of your joint, or if you have persistent pain.

ACL Tears

An ACL tear is a relatively common injury affecting the one of the most important ligaments of the knee. Without an ACL the knee is less stable and it can not prevent excessive twisting and straightening of the knee. Surgery is often required and a 6 month recovery is expected before return to sports.

Ligament sprains

Sprains if the inside and outside ligaments of the knee and ankle are most common. These rarely need surgical intervention and proper rest periods followed by rehabilitation yield excellent results.