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Common Sports Injuries in Children

Every year approximately 30 million children and teens in the U.S. participate in some form of organized sport. Youth athletes often become active in competitive sports around age seven, with some children participating as early as age four, if not sooner. With that being said, it’s inevitable that injuries will occur. More than 3.5 million sports-related injuries are experienced by children 14 and under each year. In fact, almost one-third of all injuries in children are sports-related and it is the second leading cause of emergency room visits for children and adolescents. Sports involving contact and collisions account for the highest rate of injuries. Of all sports-related injuries, most are sprains and strains that require orthopedic care.  

A Consumer Product Safety Commission report from 2009 identified the top 5 sports-related injuries in children:

Football

  • Almost 215,000 children ages 5-14 were treated

Bicycling

  • More than 200,000 children ages 5 -14 were treated

Basketball

  • More than 170,000 children ages 5-14 were treated

Baseball and Softball

  • Nearly 110,000 children ages 5-14 were treated

Soccer

  • More than 88,000 children ages 5-14 were treated

It’s extremely important to note that physiologically children are not simply small adults. Adolescent bones fracture and heal differently than mature ones. As children develop, their bones are softer and have growth plates that allow them to grow an average of 2.5 inches each year

Growth plates are areas of soft cartilage tissue near the ends of adolescent bones. This cartilage allows for new bone growth and hardens when the bone is done growing, usually sometime during late puberty. If fractures occur within and near the growth plates on the bone, a different type of treatment may be required.

Children’s bones also tend to heal faster than an adult’s. This can be both a good and bad thing. When injured it is crucial for children to be evaluated promptly by a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. You do not want a growing bone to heal incorrectly. A pediatric orthopedic surgeon is specifically trained to understand the differences in caring for the bones of children vs. adults. Because bone anatomy and physiology produce age-specific injury patterns and conditions that are unique to children, it can be very difficult for emergency clinicians to diagnose correctly. Fortunately, children’s bones tend to heal quickly, with simple fractures healing in 6 weeks or less if surgery is not required.

CORE Orthopedics & Sports Medicine has comprehensive experience in treating the whole family. Dr. Jeffrey Murray specializes in the treatment of sports injuries and prioritizes non-surgical treatments whenever possible. The CORE team believes that an individual and involved treatment approach is necessary to ensure that patients are able to continue pursuing all of the activities they enjoy after their recovery.

If your child has a sports-related injury or fracture contact CORE Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at (847) 690-1776 for a pediatric consultation.  

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Elk Grove Village

555 Biesterfield Road Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007-3306 Phone : (847) 690-1776      

Coreorthosports Center
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Hoffman Estates

2380 Lakewood Blvd. Hoffman Estates, Illinois 60192 Phone : (847) 690-1776

Core Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
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Surgical Affiliations

Physician and Orthopedic Surgeon in Geneva
Geneva Surgical Suites
119 Elizabeth lane Genoa City, Wisconsin 53128 Phone : 262-295-1213
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Alexian Brothers Medical Center

800 Biesterfield Rd. Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007

Phone : 847-437-5500

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St. Alexius Medical Center

1555 Barrington Road Hoffman Estates, Illinois 60169

Phone : 847-843-2000

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Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital

450 West Highway 22, Barrington, IL 60010

Phone : 847-381-0123

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