Sports are an effective way for young athletes to learn the value of teamwork, cooperation, persistence, and hard work. But even when teenage athletes are careful to warm up, cool down, stretch, and wear the right safety gear, sports injuries do occur from time to time. When your child sustains a sports injury on the field or in the gym, you can consult an orthopedic specialist about his or her treatment options.
Stress fractures are overuse injuries characterized by a thin crack or weakened area of the bone. These fractures are not the same as traumatic fractures, such as those caused by a collision or a fall. Teenage athletes are at a particularly high risk of stress fractures if they suddenly increase their training intensity and duration. Other risk factors include running and jumping on hard surfaces, wearing inadequate footwear, and not getting enough calcium. In many cases, nonsurgical treatment is sufficient.
Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains are often used interchangeably, but they refer to different injuries. A sprain refers to a partial or complete tear of a ligament, whereas a strain refers to a partial or complete tear of a muscle or tendon. Sprains and strains can result in pain, bruising, swelling, and loss of strength and range of motion. The orthopedic doctor will likely recommend rest, cold therapy, compression, and medications. Later on, the young athlete may begin physical therapy to rehabilitate the injured area. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to reconstruct a torn ligament or tendon.
Growth Plate Injuries
Growth plate injuries are unique to children and adolescents because their bones are still growing. The growth plate refers to the developing tissue toward the ends of the long bones. Growth plate fractures should be treated as quickly as possible. These injuries are generally treatable with immobilization, surgery or nonsurgical manipulation, and physical therapy.
When your child has sustained a sports injury in the Queens area, you can take him or her to Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine. In emergent situations, an orthopedic specialist can meet you and your child in the emergency room to handle your sports injury case right from the start. You can reach our sports medicine practice at (718) 897-2228.