Youth Sports Injuries

Many children participate in some type of sport or athletic activity. While sports can be a great form of exercise for your children, they can also be more susceptible to certain types of injuries. Knowing how to spot these injuries and working with a highly qualified pediatric orthopedic care team can ensure that your child is well taken care of in the event that an injury does occur.

Our pediatric orthopedic specialists at Seaview Orthopaedics, Dr. Paul Haynes, Dr. Christopher Collins, and Dr. Jon Lentz are experienced in treating a wide variety of orthopaedic conditions and injuries in children, including sports injuries. They will work with you and your child to develop a treatment plan to help heal the injury and get your child back to playing the sports he or she enjoys.

Common Youth Sports Injuries 

Children typically sustain sports injuries due to overuse or sudden acute trauma. Recommended treatment options may vary based on the type and severity of the injury.

Overuse Injuries

Overuse injuries occur over time due to repetitive motions during sports activities. The body does not have time to heal between active times, and the injury gradually gets worse. Examples of overuse injuries in children include the following:

  • Tendinitis – Irritation in the tendon that gets worse with activity. It commonly occurs in the shoulders, arms, legs, and ankles.
  • Bursitis – Inflammation of the bursa, small sacs of fluid that cushion tendons and muscles from the motions of bony prominences and joints. Bursitis can occur in the shoulders, elbows, knees, hips, or ankles.
  • Sever’s Disease – Inflammation of the growth plate in the heel bone that causes pain.
  • Osgood-Schlatter Disease – Inflammation of the growth plate at the upper end of the tibia (shin bone) that causes knee pain.
  • Jumper’s Knee – Inflammation of the patellar tendon that causes pain in the lower portion of the kneecap. This is common among children in sports that involve jumping.
  • Little Leaguer’s Elbow – Irritation of the growth plate at the medial epicondyle, the bony bump at the inside of the elbow. This is common among pitchers.
  • Stress Fractures – Tiny cracks in the bone that develop due to repetitive stress. Stress fractures most often occur in the lower legs and feet.
Acute Injuries

Acute injuries occur suddenly, such as with a fall, collision, or sudden twist or change of direction during sports play. Common acute youth sports injuries include the following:

  • Sprains – A partial or complete tear in a ligament, often caused by a fall or sudden twist.
  • Strains – A partial or complete tear of a muscle or tendon that commonly occurs with a fall, twist, or blow to the body.
  • Fractures – Broken bones that typically occur with sudden impact, such as a fall or collision. Learn More About Pediatric Fracture Treatment »
  • Concussions – Mild traumatic brain injuries that can occur due to a blow or sudden impact that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth within the skull. (Learn more about concussion treatment)

Treating Youth Sports Injuries

Recommended treatments for youth sports injuries vary based on the type and severity of the injury. The earlier your child receives treatment for a sports injury, the better. If your child complains of pain or discomfort after playing sports, it is always a good idea to play it safe and get it checked out before the problem becomes worse.

Overuse injuries, when caught early on, may simply require a period of rest and anti- inflammatory medications to help with pain. Physical therapy, which is offered on-site at all of our office locations, can help to improve strength and mobility so that the injury does not recur. For soft tissue injuries like sprains and strains, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) is often recommended to reduce pain and swelling while the injury heals.

Acute injuries like ligament tears or fractures may require more extensive treatment, like casting or surgical repair. If overuse injuries do not improve with nonsurgical treatments, surgery may be recommended in these cases.

It is important that your child sit out of sports play until the injury is completely healed; otherwise, he or she may risk re-injury. Recovery times can vary based on the injury. Healing may take several weeks or even months. When your child does return to sports, a brace may be recommended for support. Regular checkups may also be recommended to ensure the injury does not recur.

Youth Sports Injury Treatment in Central Jersey & Jersey Shore

Our pediatric orthopedic specialists at Seaview, Dr. Paul Haynes, Dr. Christopher Collins, and Dr. Jon Lentz treat a full range of orthopedic conditions and injuries, including sports injuries. If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, please call (732) 660- 6200 or use our online appointment scheduling system.