‘Mixin’ It Up’ Does Wonders for Kids in Sports

Fall and winter sports season is upon us! Boys are playing football. Girls are doing their cheer routines at games.

Cross-country, field hockey, tennis, and volleyball players are in full swing at high schools across the country.

While kids are eager to jump right into these activities, injuries this time of year increase.

Kids Sports

Why Do More Sports Injuries Occur in the Fall and Winter?

  • Sudden increases in activity level
  • Unpredictable weather and changes in playing surface. Shifting weather patterns are another factor that contributes to sports injuries in the fall and winter.
  • Muscle fatigue – During the summer months, kids move freely. Suddenly, when school starts, students are cramped into an uncomfortable school desk for eight hours a day. The hips remain flexed at 90-degrees, and the brain focuses on keeping the hip flexors, hamstrings, and spinal erectors engaged to maintain a sitting position. Unfortunately, these are the opposite muscles the body needs to prevent common sports injuries.

What Are the Most Common Fall and Winter Sports Injuries and How Are They Prevented?

Slowly ramping up activity levels over the course of a few months leading into preseason can minimize the risk significantly.

Students should spend at least 10 minutes warming up every practice and devote twice as long to end-of-practice stretches to prevent injuries including:

Middle-school-age children come in with growth plate injuries. A growth plate injury occurs at either end of the leg bone.

A damaged growth plate may lead to arthritis, crooked bones, or limbs that do not grow long enough — although these circumstances are rare. More often than not, kids rebound from a growth plate injury without any further consequences.

Kids Football

To prevent these injuries, be sure you oversee your child’s strength training to ensure he or she is not lifting too much weight too fast. You also want to see that your child is using the proper form.

Playing in extreme cold, certain medications, neurological disorders, metabolic diseases, and genetic factors are believed to all play a role in the development of growth plate injuries as well. It is important to speak with a sports medicine professional to determine whether your child may be at risk for a growth plate injury.

When high school athletes begin to get tired, they get sloppy. Fatigue is the number one factor in ankle sprains. Teach your child to recognize signs of fatigue so he or she can request a break if the coach doesn’t see it.

Some of these early signals may include some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Inconsistent performance
  • Decreased focus
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle twitches
  • Depression or irritability
  • Severe thirst
  • Generalized weakness
  • Nausea
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches

According to Dr. Downer, “Mix it up, don’t just play one sport. Instead be diverse and try different types of sporting activities throughout the year. Staying active keeps you well-conditioned and less likely to experience an injury.”

If you believe you are suffering from a sports-related injury and need specialized orthopedic care, the orthopedic surgeons at OSS provide excellent treatment options for your injury. Please feel free to contact OSS at (206) 633-8100 to schedule an appointment.

Are you suffering from Hip Impingement?

Patients may have hip impingement for years before diagnosis because it’s rarely painful in its early stages. Early diagnosis is important; however, hip impingement if left untreated, can cause cartilage damage and osteoarthritis.

Once hip impingement becomes more advanced, symptoms include:

  • General stiffness in the groin or front of the thigh.
  • Running, jumping or sitting after flexing will also cause pain the groin region

What is hip impingement?

Hip impingement (femoro acetabular acetabular impingement) is a more recently recognized cause of hip pain in the active adult.

Hip impingement is caused by a lack of room or clearance between the neck of the femur and the rim of the socket (acetabulum). In a normal hip, there is a gliding motion of the round femoral head within the socket, but with an impinged hip, the gliding motion is disturbed. Dr. Downer states, “Mechanical problems do not always require surgical treatment; when symptoms affect function and lifestyle then surgery is justified.”

Dr. Downer, provides specialized care in hip restoration and replacement, and has a special interest in hip impingement conditions. Treatment options may include:

  • First approach – Trying to control the pain with anti-inflammatory medications – If pain persists, surgical treatment may be necessary.
  • Surgical treatment of hip impingement involves removing or correcting the cause of the reduced clearance between the neck of the femur and the rim of the socket (acetabulum). This may require arthroscopic surgery of the hip to remove diseased portions of the acetabulem (labrum) as well as femoral neck.
  • In severe cases, it may be necessary to correct the deformity and reshape the femoral neck and/or rim of the socket through a larger incision. In cases of malposition of the socket, a redirecting procedure, called a periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) may be required.

Don’t let a hip impingement slow down your healthy, active lifestyle. Find out treatment options so that you can continue doing the things you love. Call Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle and schedule a consultation with Dr. Downer at (206) 633-8100.