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Top High School Sports Injuries
09.26.14 Friday
If you have teenagers in the house, then you will know that just about anything can happen!  If you have teenagers involved in high school sports then this statement really holds a lot of truth.  Having active teens is awesome and keeps them out of mischief, teaches them to work hard, be a team player and learn about responsibility.  Once they find their passion, there is no stopping them.  This passion can also be their downfall too. It’s important for teen athletes to understand their bodies and know when to push and when to back off.   Here are 4 of the leading sport injuries among the high school crowd according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
  1. Acute injury.  This is when an injury happens suddenly like a fracture, twist, or tear; sudden trauma.  These injuries happen without warning.  Sometimes, they can be prevented by making sure they wear appropriate protective gear; helmets, braces and guards, to name a few.
  2. Overuse injury.  These can sometimes feel like they come on out of the blue but if you are paying attention, you will be able to catch the subtle changes that begin to occur.  These types of injuries are common in sports with a lot of repetition such as baseball, hockey, and gymnastics.  Working the same part of your body over and over stresses the joints, ligaments and muscles.  They get tired and weak and become prone to injury.   Prevention is the key to overcoming overuse injuries.  Make sure your child is not overdoing it at practice, in training or at a game.  Make sure the coach is giving them adequate rest periods in a game.   As they practice and train, encourage them to take a day off in between to rest the body.  It may seem counterproductive but so is an injury that will take all season to heal.
  3. Concussions.  There is a lot more information these days on concussions.  We sometimes think all it amounts to is a bump on the head but in reality, it is an injury of the brain that can vary in degree of damage done.  For the most part, a concussion is not serious but the effects can last much longer than the initial, acute pain.  This is tricky because the child may feel better but that healing process is going to take more than just 24 hours.  Make sure you are working with a doctor experienced in concussions and brain trauma to receive the best care.  As always…make sure your child is wearing protective head gear.
  4. Growth Plate Injuries.  A teenager is still growing and the growth plates, located at the ends of the long bones, are the weakest part of the skeleton.  As they begin to close, they become hardened bone.   1/3 of all growth plate injuries happen in contact sports.   20% happen in recreational activities like biking, skateboarding, and skiing.  When a growth plate fracture occurs, you really need to see your orthopedic specialist to prevent any complications with continued bone growth.
Many of the injuries sustained by teen athletes, though surprising and poorly timed can be prevented with a little bit of planning and care.
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