Sports Medicine Services
The Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children Center for Excellence in Sports Medicine assesses and treats acute and chronic sports-related injuries, including growth plate injuries, in young athletes. Our providers offer both operative and non-operative treatment options, including minimally invasive surgical techniques with advanced arthroscopic surgery.
Shoulder Conditions and Treatments in Young Athletes
The shoulder joint is known as a ball and socket joint. Due to the shallow socket in the shoulder, a large range of motion is possible. This allows for overhead sports, like baseball and volleyball, but this wide range of motion also increases the risk of instability and injury to the joint.
Some problems occur in fully developed adult athletes but do not typically occur in younger athletes such as shoulder labrum tear or glenoid labrum tear, rotator cuff tears and impingement, frozen shoulder, or shoulder arthritis. Because growth and development is unique to each individual, we consider these diagnoses in our evaluations, but more often find these problems:
Elbow Injuries in Throwing Athletes
The elbow is a hinge joint. It also allows rotation which makes the hand very functional. Elbow injuries in young athletes are on the rise. This is partly due to moving to year-round training and competition. Overuse injuries occur in baseball and other throwing sports, as well as gymnastics. Early recognition of signs and symptoms can prevent problems and even career-changing injuries. In youth sports, preventing elbow injuries, particularly those requiring surgery, is a priority.
The hip is a ball and socket joint. The soft tissues in the hip are very important because the bones do not stay together well without them. This also means there are lots of tissues that can become injured with different motions. Dancers, gymnasts, soccer and ice hockey players move their hips in extreme motions over and over again. The resulting problems can become progressively worse over time. Early recognition of signs and symptoms of hip problems can often result in very successful outcomes without surgery.
Knee injuries and prevention of knee injuries in youth sports are hot topics. Young athletes have unique risk factors for knee injuries and these also require unique treatment considerations. All growing bones have sensitive spots, called growth centers. These are filled with cartilage, until the bone takes its final shape. Some growth centers are at risk of injury from running and jumping. Others, the ones that help our legs grow symmetrically and straight, are at risk of being damaged from fractures or during surgeries for major ligament injuries. In these cases, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon has the expertise to make a plan for treatment and monitoring for the best outcomes.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears
Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) tears
Collateral ligament tears
Cartilage conditions such as osteochondritis dissecans (OCD)
Knee cap instability and dislocations
Growth plate fractures
Tibial spine fractures
Sinding-Larsen-Johansson (SLJ) syndrome
Young athletes are more likely to break a bone than to have an ankle sprain. Unlike fractures, subtle injuries to the bone or the soft tissue covering the bones may be difficult to diagnose. Symptoms that don’t get better with rest may need a thorough evaluation by a pediatric specialist. Recognizing and responding to symptoms of ankle instability or pain with repetitive activity can help keep young athletes on the field. The risk of ankle injury can be reduced with good training, proper shoes and field maintenance.
A concussion is a brain injury that disrupts normal brain function. It is usually caused by a sudden blow to the head or body that causes the brain to shake, damaging cells and creating chemical changes in the brain. An athlete does not have to be knocked out or have memory loss to have suffered a concussion. In fact, most athletes who suffer a sports-related concussion do not lose consciousness. Read more.
Female Athlete Triad
Female Athlete Triad is a medical condition that can affect girls and young women. It involves the following three components: energy availability, menstrual function and bone health. Clinical signs and symptoms may not all occur at the same time, so further evaluation is needed with the presence of any of these problems. Jane Chung, M.D. advises that education and early intervention are keys for young ladies with female athlete triad. Read more.