The Most Common Pediatric Sports Injuries and Treatment

The Most Common Pediatric Sports Injuries and Treatment

According to statistics presented by John Hopkins University, over three million children under the age of fourteen are injured each year while playing sports. Overall, a third of all childhood injuries occur while playing sports, either competitively or recreationally. Many of the injuries are due to overuse, but some are considered emergency situations due to contact or other accident.

Fractures

Fractures are among the most common of pediatric sports injuries. There are two types of fracture that typically occur in adolescents: Salter-Harris Fractures and Apophyseal Avulsion Fractures.

  • Salter-Harris Fractures: These are local to the growth plates in immature bones, and have five different classifications, from Type I to Type V. Proper treatment for healing is necessary to avoid any growth arrest within the growth plate.
  • Apophyseal Avulsion Fractures: This fracture occurs when tendons forcefully contract away from their joining bones, most often in the pelvis or hip. For most, rest and physical therapy is the only treatment required, but some more severe injuries require surgery.

Whether treatment is simply rest and pain management or requires surgical intervention, every fracture injury should be evaluated by a doctor to ensure proper healing. Sometimes, if the patient does not show progress in healing with more conservative measures, surgery may still be necessary. Improper healing in adolescents and children can lead to lifelong complications that hinder mobility.

Injuries from Overuse

Overuse injuries are typically seen in pediatric patients who play in advanced leagues or more competitive sports. Although not impossible, these injuries are rarely seen in patients who have been playing backyard games alone.

The most common overuse injuries seen in adolescents include:

  • Peridotites (also known as “shin splints”)
  • Generalized shoulder cuff pain
  • Little League Elbow
  • Osgood-Schlatter Disease
  • Sinding-Larsen-Johansson Disease
  • Sever’s Disease

The treatment plan will depend on the exact injury, as well as its severity. For minor issues which present low to moderate pain and mobility limitations, conservative treatment such as rest, therapy, and pain relief is always the first choice. Most overuse injuries in pediatric patients are self-limiting and prone to natural healing by the end of puberty.

However, if an overuse injury is severe in either pain or restriction of mobility, it may warrant surgical treatment. In pediatric sports medicine, surgery is (almost) always a second choice, restricted to only instances when initial conservative methods do not show progressive healing.

If you believe your child has suffered a sports-related injury, it is imperative to have it evaluated quickly to receive proper diagnosis and care. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

Youth Injuries & Sport Care: ACL

Youth Injuries & Sport Care: ACL

There’s an old saying that says, “Youth is wasted on the young.” As you watch your kids hard at work on the playing field, most of the time you might marvel at what kind of punishment they can put themselves through in the prime of their youth. Unfortunately, that all may change the moment they encounter a sports injury. Most of the time, they are giving everything they have to the sport, and with coaching, the pressures to succeed and to dominate on the field, kids are a lot less willing to hold back. Because of this, a sports injury can wreak havoc on future performance in more ways that just one. With an injury comes the setback of building and maintaining a level of physical ability, but the mental trauma associated with such an injury can cause them to hold back in future events, hindering their once all-in athletic performance.

One of the most common injuries affects the anterior cruciate ligament, or as it is most commonly referred to, the ACL. The ACL is one of the most important ligaments in the range of motion as well as the strength of your knees. Most sports are heavily reliant upon the function of an athlete’s knees, not only in terms of strength, but also flexibility. This is why proper treatment of an injured ACL is of utmost importance. Thankfully, an ACL injury is no longer a career-ender, much less a permanently debilitating injury, due to advances in modern medicine.

Through the use of minimally-invasive, arthroscopic surgery, as well as combined treatment plans in pain management and physical therapy, recovery is shorter than it has ever been and the likelihood of repeated injury is also significantly reduced from even a few years ago. Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine has the technical experience as well as bedside manner you can rely on to get your young athlete back on the playing field, court, track, or floor doing what they love.

Contact us to get back on the road to recovery today!  Let us help your young athlete to achieve their goals and follow their dreams.

 

Common Job-Related Knee and Shoulder Injuries

Common Job-Related Knee and Shoulder Injuries

Accidents at work are inevitable. Even in an extremely safe environment, there is always the risk of an employee getting injured. Dr. Irvine sees multiple injured workers every month to help them recover from various conditions, some of which require orthopedic intervention and are more common than others. Among the most frequent injuries in any workplace are those to the knees and shoulders.

Knee Injuries

The most common job-related knee injuries are usually caused by repetitive pressure, trauma, heavy lifting and falls. Some accidents may simply result in bruises, but others could potentially lead to a serious disability without prompt and proper treatment. Common job-related knee injuries include:

  • Dislocated knee cap – This often occurs due to a sudden blow or twist of the knee.
  • Sprains and strains – They are similar yet not the same; sprains are caused by overextension of a ligament whereas strains occur when a muscle is abruptly pulled, in certain cases it may even tear.
  • Meniscus tear – This type of tear is commonly caused by a sudden turn, heavy lifting, or deep squatting; athletes are also very prone to this injury.
  • Bursitis – In other words, inflammation of the bursae. This may happen due to a number of reasons, such as repetitive motions, minor impact or trauma.
  • Patellar tendinitis – It’s an injury of the tissue that connects the kneecap to the shinbone; among the most common causes is repetitive stress on the knee.

Shoulder Injuries

Another type of common work-related injuries is to the shoulder. Many jobs require the employee to use their arms and shoulders on a regular basis. Conducting repeated overhead activities, pushing heavy objects, awkward positioning for an extended period of time or the use of heavy machinery may all contribute to the following common shoulder injuries:

  • Rotator cuff tear – There are two main causes of this type of tear: injury (e.g. due to falling on an outstretched hand) and degeneration which occurs naturally with aging.
  • Shoulder dislocation – This injury is usually caused by severe rotation of the shoulder joint which leads to the upper arm bone popping out of the socket located in the shoulder blade.
  • Impingement – Also called the swimmer’s shoulder – it happens when the rotator cuff’s tendons rub against the shoulder blade. Repetitive motions are a frequent cause of this injury.
  • Frozen shoulder – It’s characterized by stiffness of the shoulder joint and pain during movement and occurs when the shoulder joint’s capsule thickens and tightens, leaving less room for the movement and causing discomfort.

Not only physical workers are at risk of getting the above-mentioned injuries. Accidents happen to people across all employment sectors. The good news is that all of them are treatable. However, depending on the severity of the injury, some of them may require longer recovery periods than others. It’s important to visit a professional orthopedist who will provide comprehensive treatment throughout the entire period of the patient’s recovery and help them get back to work quickly, yet only when deemed as safe for the employee.

For more information about the orthopedic services that we provide for work-related injuries and more, contact us today.

Three Key Factors of Top-Notch Comprehensive Orthopedic Care

Three Key Factors of Top-Notch Comprehensive Orthopedic Care

Joints: We all have them, and as long as they are doing their job of keeping us mobile, most people don’t think too much about them. What happens, though, when you suffer an injury, or when a joint develops problems over time, limiting your mobility? Obtaining an evaluation and treatment from a qualified specialist is imperative to getting your body moving again so you can continue doing the activities you love. Searching for an orthopedic care provider can feel overwhelming, however, and when you are experiencing joint pain, the process can seem even more frustrating.

How do you know what to look for in a provider? What type of services are offered and how long will you need to be followed by the specialist? There are numerous factors to consider when choosing an orthopedic clinic, including what qualifications the provider has, what services are available, and which local hospital the doctor collaborates with should an emergency arise.

Here are three key factors to consider when choosing top-notch comprehensive orthopedic care for yourself or your loved one:

  • Board certified surgeon:Your health is your most valuable asset so you want to know that the provider you are entrusting to help your body heal is one of the best. When researching the orthopedic doctors in your area, inquire if they are board certified, indicating they have had extensive training in their specialty area of medicine and have passed a standardized national exam. Dr. Irvine is board certified in both Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine.
  • Targeted services and procedures offered: Whether it’s bursitis preventing you from taking your daily walks, carpal tunnel syndrome impeding your efficiency at work, or a knee injury from last week’s football game, you want to receive comprehensive orthopedic care. Missouri Orthopedics provides care for both acute and chronic conditions, including those that originate in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, hips, knees, feet, and ankles.
  • Hospital privileges and collaboration with other medical centers: If hospitalization or a rehabilitation facility is required as part of your treatment, you want to ensure that your orthopedic specialist is able to provide care in these facilities, either directly or through collaboration with their staff physicians. Dr. Irvine has a working relationship with five medical facilities in the St. Louis area, including the nationally-ranked Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

If you are currently searching for orthopedic care, look no further than Dr. Irvine and staff at Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine. We strive to help you achieve your mobility goals so you can get back to the activities you enjoy. Please contact us to discover how we can serve your physical rehabilitation and orthopedic needs.

Staying Healthy While Recovering from and Injury

Staying Healthy While Recovering from and Injury

Part of a healthy lifestyle is getting fit, but if you are new to physical activity or it has been awhile, it can come with several challenges. One of the biggest setbacks that can happen in your fitness journey is an injury. Whether it is something serious requiring a lot of downtime or surgery, or something minor like a pulled muscle or minor sprain, sometimes the most frustrating part is being on the mend. Here are five steps to help you stay healthy while you recover from and injury:

1. Be patient with yourself. Any injury, whether it is a broken bone or a pulled muscle, is going to take time to heal. Some injuries might require more time to heal than others, which can lead to massive amounts of stress and frustration. While missing out on your usual activities may get you down, take this time now to focus on other aspects of your health. Just remember not to push yourself too hard in any new activities. You can actually make a minor injury worse or potentially cause a new injury.

2. Manage pain. Pain is an initial reaction to an injury, but quicker recovery happens when the pain is reduced. Proper use of anti-inflammatory painkillers and analgesics can help you work through an injury. However, caution should be taken not to overdo things, or you could be re-injuring yourself and not even know you have, so work with your doctor for a possible plan while using pain management medications. Keep in mind, improper or prolonged use of opioids could lead to a chemical dependency, so consult with your doctor about options.

2. Switch it up! If you are missing out on time running the trails, try some light lifting or even swimming to keep your cardio on point. The human body is extremely varied and oftentimes, focusing on a weakness might be just the thing you need to improve your overall health, so be flexible! According to WebMD, higher impact workouts can wreak havoc on the body, but the body’s need to maintain joint health and stay limber is consistent. If you evaluate how you got hurt, there is a good chance that neglecting proper stretching technique contributed to your injury. Work in some time to stretch and improve your stretching regimen. Injuries such as plantar fasciitis are primarily overcome by lighter activity and increased stretching. Give a workout like yoga a try to help increase your flexibility. As always, consult with your doctor before trying a new workout, particularly when attempting with an injury.

4. Ice and heat. Reducing inflammation and improving circulation are key in a quick recovery. Both of these improve the body’s ability to heal quickly, and you can help it along. Alternating ice and heat can facilitate this process, since ice tends to reduce inflammation as well as cause blood flow to retract from the extremities, and heat can help relax muscle tissue and improve comfort as well. Alternating hot and cold, in addition to chemical patches and creams to further stimulate these reactions, will trigger your body’s healing factor and can accelerate tissue repair.

5. Watch your caloric intake. Since you will be reducing your activity due to an injury, it is important to reduce your calories accordingly. You won’t need 5,000 calories a day if you aren’t maxing out on bench and dead-lifts. If you have downtime due to an ACL, you won’t be training for that marathon until the doctor clears you. So don’t comfort yourself with a pail of Rocky Road as you binge watch shows on TV. It will become easier to gain weight during the recovery period, and a heavier body will mean more strain in the short term and reduced performance on your cardio later on. Not to mention, you’ll have a more difficult time trying to bounce back into your desired activities once you receive the all-clear from the doctor.

If you are injured and need orthopedic care, or to learn more about safe activities during your recovery, contact us today.