Several studies presented this week at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reported that in spite of a dramatic rise in pediatric sports injuries, there is still a lack of education, awareness and early treatment.
More adolescents are participating in year-round sports without seasonal breaks and are playing on multiple teams simultaneously, leading to a growing number of musculoskeletal injuries – both traumatic and from chronic overuse.
Kids’ bodies are still growing and they are just as susceptible to overuse and traumatic joint and extremity injuries as adults. The rate of injury suggests that we might be pushing kids too hard and the damage could last a lifetime.
Gymnasts, sustaining osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) injuries, often train year-round were one example given this week. The softening of the bone underneath the cartilage can lead to cartilage breaks and pain, which can be successfully treated with early detection. The early warning signs include:
- persistent pain during activity
- painful swelling
- locking or “catching” of a joint
- loss of motion
Photo credit: Ed Yourdon