Common Sports Injuries for Teen Athletes

Common Sports Injuries for Teen Athletes

High school sports have become a popular extracurricular for many teens. They are a great way to stay in shape and help teach teamwork, leadership, and even time management when balanced with other responsibilities. Unfortunately, for many young athletes, injuries are common, ranging from acute to catastrophic. Each type of injury requires specific treatment that may cause them to miss a game, or even the entire season, but healing time is essential for a proper return to the field or court.

If you watch professional sports, you have undoubtedly witnessed any number of injuries throughout the season. Teens are injured at about the same rate as professionals, but the injuries can be much worse if not treated correctly as these young athletes are still growing. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “Growth is generally uneven: Bones grow first, which pulls at tight muscles and tendons.” This tension is a major contributing factor of injuries to muscles, tendons and growth plates that are common among young athletes.

There are a few different levels of injury that can occur in athletes. Understanding each can help the healing process and provide a realistic expectation for healing.

  • Acute Injuries: These are classified as bruises, sprains, strains and fractures. Typically, they are caused by a sudden trauma, such as a collision between players or with an obstacle. Another common acute injury is a twisted ankle, resulting in fracture or sprain.
  • Overuse Injuries: As the skill level of a sport increases, so do the practices, training and games. This can result in gradual damage over time as there is not enough recovery time in between to heal. Common overuse injuries have been seen in elbows of baseball pitchers, shoulders of swimmers, and wrist and elbow injuries in cheerleaders and gymnasts. Stress fractures also become very common, as old bone breaks down quickly with overuse and new bone does not have enough time to grow in, causing weakness.
  • Catastrophic Injuries: These types of injuries are more common with contact sports, such as hockey and football, but have been reported in many others. Catastrophic injuries include damage to the brain, spinal cord, or growth plates. Concussions, or mild traumatic brain injuries, have become a hot topic of conversation with their rise in professional football. If a concussion is suspected, the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Neurology recommend the athlete be evaluated and cleared by a doctor before they can return to normal play to avoid any permanent damage. Growth plate injuries occur to the developing cartilage at the end of long bones. These are the final portion of the bone to harden, which is why they are more susceptible to fracture. An injury to the growth plate can cause the bone growth to stop or cause a deformity of the bone.

Any injury that occurs due to sports, particularly if any symptoms or discomfort persist, should be seen by a doctor. Athletes who are pushed to work through pain, or are downplaying the severity in order to continue competing may be causing further damage that could become permanent or even result in a disability. This is where the importance of observation by both coaches and parents comes into play as pain or discomfort can be seen if their technique seems off or they have a decreased interest in practice.

Treatment will all depend on the type of injury and its severity. It could range from simple rest to therapy and even surgery. The injury should be healed completely before the athlete can return to physical activities. While it may not be easy to have to take the time off to heal, it will result in a much better outcome than what could happen if left untreated. Athletes can work to prevent these types of injuries by making sure they are properly conditioned, trained, and using proper equipment. Limiting the number of teams the athlete participates on during a given season can help prevent overuse injuries, and making sure to take breaks between seasons, as well as playing other sports throughout the year, can not only help to prevent injury, but help develop an array of athletic skills.

If you have a teen athlete who has a sports-related injury, contact us today. We will help them with the necessary treatment plan to recover and safely get back on the field.

St. Louis Blue Playoffs Run

St. Louis hockey fans have reason to be excited as the St. Louis Blues continue an exciting playoff run. The Blues have made it to the second round of the NHL playoffs, now battling against the Dallas Stars after knocking off the 2015 Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blues are seeking their first ever Stanley Cup Championship.

The Blues won a thrilling 7-game series against the Blackhawks, winning game 7 of the series 3-2. The Blues were led by Vladimir Tarasenko with four goals in the series, and some outstanding play from goalkeeper Brian Elliot, who made 236 saves on 254 shots during the series.

The round two series against Dallas is proving to be an exciting one, with two games that have gone into overtime, and some big wins for the Blues on two occasions: 4-1 and 6-1.

The Blues have avoided injuries thus far in the playoffs, and will welcome back forward Steve Ott to the lineup for game six against the Stars. Ott ripped his hamstring after an awkward collision against the boards during a game back in December. The Blues were extremely supportive of Ott as he recovered, paying him visits and sending gifts. Just as Ott was ready to begin playing again in April, he was diagnosed with Colitis, an inflammation of the inner colon, and was unable to play for another two weeks. But now Ott is ready to go for this series against the Stars.

Join us in cheering on the Blues this playoff season! If you have suffered from a hockey injury or any other sports injury, contact us at Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine and let us help you get back in the game.

Hip Arthroscopy: A Minimally Invasive Option

HipArthoscopy

The hip-joint is one of the most amazing and important joints of the body. A ball and socket joint, it is one of the most flexible, providing a level of mobility that allows the femur to rotate freely through a 360-degree circle and is capable of supporting half of the body’s weight along with any other forces acting upon the body.

Estimable as it may be, like any other part of the body, the hip-joint is capable of suffering several painful conditions due to falls or repetitive use that is common in athletes. The normal wear and tear that comes with age plays its part as well and can lead to arthritis or tears of tendons and ligaments.

Non-surgical treatments that include rest, physical therapy and injections to reduce inflammation can help but some injuries and even diseases demand a more aggressive approach. Bone spurs around the socket; dysplasia and snapping hip syndrome are a few of the conditions that may fall into this category.

In cases like these, your doctor may recommend hip arthroscopy, a procedure where your surgeon inserts a small camera, called an arthroscope, into your hip-joint. The camera then displays pictures on a screen, allowing the doctor to use these images to guide miniature surgical instruments to the affected area.

Hip arthroscopy is generally performed under general anesthesia and on an outpatient basis.

Recovery will likely include crutches for a specified amount of time, as well as physical therapy to help restore strength and mobility.

For more information on how we can help, contact us

Youth Injuries & Sport Care: When It’s All In Your Head

Missouri Orthopedics, Advanced Sports & Medicine, Stl doctor, concussion

Youth head injuries are frightening and frustrating, especially when you’re a driven and determined athlete used to pushing through other injuries. Even a mild concussion can cause significant injury to your brain, and this makes it even more important to understand what to expect during the process of recovery.

When your injury is “all in your head”, sometimes it is difficult to take ongoing symptoms seriously. Since giving your brain a chance to heal is so important to your future performance, here are a few important things to keep in mind.

1. Be honest. Let your coach, parents, and doctor know if you’re experiencing symptoms of concussion. While you may be tempted to gloss over lingering headaches or trouble concentrating after an injury, ignoring symptoms may mean you re-injure your brain and have an even longer recovery.

2. Expect recovery to take time. According to a study published February 2016 in The Journal of Pediatrics, recovery from a concussion takes more time for younger players and those who have yet to go through puberty, with the average recovery time between about 33 and 54 days.

3. Expect frustration. You may have trouble with things like balance, sleeping, and concentration. You may have less of an appetite, experience headaches, and have a hard time predicting your emotional response to stress. While your brain heals, its normal to feel frustrated with symptoms.

4. If symptoms come back after you’ve been cleared to return to active sports, speak up! Recovery from concussion is a complex process and some symptoms can linger. Your doctor is the best one to determine a safe level of activity depending on what you’re experiencing.

While youth injuries are frightening and frustrating, the good news about having an injury that’s “all in your head” is that most young people with a concussion do experience complete recovery. Understanding what to expect during the process will help reduce your stress as you work to regain complete health.

Providing treatment for youth injuries and sport care is a big part of what we do. We’re committed to working with you to help manage your symptoms and get you back to active sports as soon as its safe for you to do so. Please contact us and we’ll work with you every step of the way.

Common Hockey Injuries

Concussions, Back Injuries, Elbow Injuries

Hockey Players Take A Beating, Typically

It is no surprise that hockey player undergo some physical pushing and shoving during the game. Sometimes the game is so physical that it can lead to injuries to their body which requires the medical attention of a doctor. We recommend an advanced sports medicine doctor like our very own, Dr. Irvine.

Ice hockey players fighting during game, Dr. Irvine, Sport Medicine

What are some common hockey player injuries?

Concussion This is a traumatic brain injury which may alter the way your brain functions.

Shoulder Injury* Our team evaluates and treat shoulder injuries including labral tears, Bankart lesions, rotator cuff tears & more.

Elbow Injury* Dr Irvine helps east the pain from elbow injuries such as fractures.

Back Injury Hockey players are especially at risk for lower back injuries which can affect your skating stride and overall comfort.

Hip Injury* Dr Irvine is experienced in treating hip arthroscopy as well as performing total hip replacement.

Knee Injury* Our doctor can perform ACL and PCL reconstruction, whether it be minimally invasive or a total reconstruction. However, his experience does not stop there. He is also able to treat a number of other knee conditions and injuries.

Wrist Injury* If you are experiencing a mallet finger injury and/or a wrist or hand fracture, then Dr. Irvine is your guy to call.

* Denotes services in which Dr. Irvine can help diagnose & treat.

If you are interested in jumping onto the road of recovery, and would like to become a potential patient of ours, please call today to schedule your appointment 314-567-5850.