Pediatric / Adolescent Injuries
Studies show that four out of every ten emergency room visits for children between the ages of five and fourteen are due to sports-related injuries.
Overuse Injuries in Youth Sports
About sixty million children and adolescents between the ages of six and eighteen participate in organized sports. While these competitive sports encourage children to excel, they are intense and often result in injuries due to overuse of various muscles and joints. The incidence of overuse injuries is increased due to the fact that these days, sports are played year round. Children also have a higher risk for repetitive injuries as they grow. Studies estimate that approximately fifty percent of injuries in this age group are due to overuse.
Overuse injuries include stress fractures (hairline fractures) and tendinitis (inflamed tendons) which cause pain and discomfort.
Upper Extremity Overuse Injuries
Many activities stimulate upper extremity overuse injuries, including but not limited to overhead arm rotation from swimming and volleyball. Throwing injuries are common in baseball. Injuries to the elbow are called “little league elbow”, an overuse injury that leads to inflammation and irritation of the growth plate on the inside of the elbow and damage to the elbow ligaments. Injuries in the shoulder are called “little league shoulder”, an overuse injury to the growth plate where the upper arm bone meets the scapula.
Growth plate injuries
The growth plate, where the bone grows, is called the epiphysis. Of significant concern are growth plate injuries because an injury to the growth plate can lead to limb length differences and deformities, affecting a child’s normal growth and development.
A growth plate injury is an injury to the end of the long bones in growing children and adolescents. Because the end of these bones are still growing, the bone is not calcified. Fractures make up the most common growth plate injuries, and account for fifteen percent of all childhood fractures. They are twice as common in boys than in girls, and tend to affect boys between the ages of fourteen and sixteen years old, and girls between the ages of eleven and thirteen years old.
The long bones include:
- The long bones of the hands and fingers
- The arm bone (humerus)
- The bones of the forearm (radius and ulna)
- The thigh bone (femur)
- The leg bones (tibia and fibula)
- Bones of the foot
Soft Tissue Injuries Include Strains and Sprains
A Sprain is a ligament injury, with an ankle sprain being the most common sports injury. Other commonly sprained joints are the knees and wrists.
A Strain is a muscle or tendon injury, including partial and minor stretch injuries to larger tears or ruptures. Common strains are hamstrings and groin-hip-leg muscle strains, which often occur during sprinting, changing direction, or rapid leg movement like kicking a ball.
Traumatic injuries are also common and include ACL injuries, meniscus tears, shoulder dislocations, knee, ankle, and thigh injuries, and fractures.
- Youth sports participation is the fourth most common cause of spine injuries. Football is the most common sport to lead to a spine injury.
- High school gymnastics and ice hockey have the highest rates of head and neck injuries.
- Bicycling injuries tend to be hand, arm, elbow, shoulder, leg and foot injuries, and most often result from falls that cause fractures, strains and sprains.
- The most common injuries suffered on playgrounds are fractures.
- Skateboarding injuries tend to be sprains, strains and fractures, and mostly affect children under the age of fifteen.
- Thirty-five percent of trampoline injuries are fractures. Strains, sprains, and joint dislocations are also common.
At South County Orthopedic Specialists (SCOS) in Orange County, California our team of Fellowship trained orthopedic experts are available to treat your child’s injuries.
Our physicians are very active in the youth sports communities of Orange County. Many of the physicians are team physicians for local high schools and various club sports teams in the region.
Dr. Youderian, a Cleveland Clinic trained shoulder and elbow specialist and Dr. Gersten are team physicians for Dana Hills High School.
Dr. Veneziano is a sports medicine specialist and team physician for Capistrano Valley Christian Schools.
Dr. Graham is a sports medicine shoulder and knee specialist and team physician for Santa Margarita Catholic High School.
Dr. Aminian is our foot and ankle specialist and a sports medicine foot and ankle expert.
Dr. Kadakia is team physician for Portola High School and is an avid outdoorsman, triathlete and runner who is an authority on sports injuries.
In Orange County, California you can feel confident that the SCOS orthopedic specialists are expertly trained to successfully treat your loved ones, for any orthopedic injuries and conditions, regardless of age.