If your child is dealing with a sports medicine injury, you may be wondering where to turn for help. In many cases, treatments for younger patients with sports injuries need specialized care. Examples of doctors specially trained in adolescent sports medicine care include pediatric orthopedic doctors and fellowship-trained sports medicine orthopedic doctors. We’ll discuss the overlap in conditions treated by both subspecialties, as well as some conditions that are only treated by pediatric orthopedic surgeons.
- Is There a Difference in Sports Medicine Care for Different Age Groups
- Pediatric Sports Medicine
- Sports Medicine and Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery
- How Are Sports Injuries Treated in Children
- Pediatric and Adolescent Sports Medicine in Louisiana
- How Are Broken Bones Treated in Children
- What is the Most Common Orthopedic Condition in Children
- How Do Fractures Affect Growth Plates
At our practice, we are dedicated to helping children recover from sports injuries quickly and safely. We offer a variety of treatment options, including physical therapy and surgery, to ensure that your child gets the best possible care.
Is There a Difference in Sports Medicine Care for Different Age Groups
We treat patients of all ages, from young children to seniors. While the overall goal of our care is to improve our patients’ quality of life, we tailor our approach to each age group. For example, pediatric orthopedic surgery injuries require unique approaches.
We understand that children are still growing and developing, and we use the most advanced techniques to promote healthy growth and prevent future problems. For new patients, we take a comprehensive approach to care, taking into account not just their orthopedic needs but also their overall health.
Pediatric Sports Medicine
Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that focuses on the treatment and prevention of injuries related to athletic activity. Pediatric orthopedic sports medicine is a subspecialty that focuses on the care of young athletes. The goal of pediatric orthopedic sports medicine is to provide comprehensive care for children and adolescents with musculoskeletal injuries. This includes both operative and non-operative treatment options.
It is important for your child’s doctor to have specialized training in treating pediatric sports injuries. There is some overlap between different orthopedic surgery fellowship training programs, and pediatric sports injuries are most often treated by orthopedic surgeons with fellowship training in either “Sports Medicine” or “Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery.”
Sports Medicine or Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery
As mentioned, there are similarities and differences between fellowship training in sports medicine and fellowship training in pediatric orthopedic surgery. In both cases the surgeon has completed medical school and a 5-year residency in orthopedic surgery. During residency, all of the orthopedic subspecialties are covered. In fellowship, there is some overlap between subspecialties, most notably in the realm of pediatric and adolescent sports medicine. Some examples of pediatric- or adolescent-specific sports injuries treated by both types of subspecialists include:
- Physeal sparing ACL reconstruction – this is a special techinque utilized during ACL surgery in young patients to avoid damage to the growth plates
- Tibial tubercle avulsion – this injury is most common in adolescent athletes. The tubercle, or bony prominence where the patellar tendon is attached, is especially susceptible to injury because the growth plate behind it has not fused completely
- Osteochondritis dissecans – this is an injury that affects the cartilage and underlying bone. It sometimes resolves on its own, but occasionally surgery is needed to restore the damaged cartilage.
- Salter-Harris Injuries – these are fractures that occur through the growth plate instead of through the mineralized bones.
- Greenstick Fractures – these are fractures that don’t break completely through the bone. The bone lining, or periosteum, is especially tough in children and somtimes keeps the bone from completely breaking.
However, some orthopedic conditions are not treated by sports medicine trained physicians and are usually treated by orthopedic surgeons who have received fellowship training or specialized experience in “Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery.” These conditions and treatments include:
- Scoliosis – curvature of the spine sometimes requiring spinal fusion or specialized procedures to straighten the spine.
- Cerebral Palsy – characterized by abnormal muscle tone and movement as a result of damage to the developing brain. The severity of symptoms can range from mild to severe.
- Clubfoot – also known as Congenital Talipes Equinovarus (CTEV), is a condition that results in the deformity of the foot. The affected foot is typically smaller than the unaffected foot and points downward and inward at the ankle. Clubfoot is a relatively common birth defect, occurring in one out of every 1,000 births. While clubfoot can affect either or both feet, it is more often seen in just one foot.
- Spina bifida – a birth defect that occurs when the spinal cord fails to develop properly. This can result in a range of problems, including physical and mental disabilities. There are three main types of spina bifida: occulta, meningocele, and myelomeningocele.
How Are Sports Injuries Treated in Children
Sports injuries are a common occurrence in children, especially as they become more active and participate in organized sports. While the vast majority of these injuries are minor and will resolve on their own with rest and ice, some may require more significant treatment. In adolescents, growth plates are still present at the ends of long bones. These growth plates are softer and more vulnerable to injury than the surrounding bone tissue. As a result, fractures near growth plates can be particularly tricky to treat.
If your child has suffered a sports injury, it is important to seek out the advice of a qualified medical professional. With proper treatment, most children will make a full recovery and be able to return to their normal activities.
Pediatric and Adolescent Sports Medicine in Louisiana
We work with athletic trainers, physical therapists, strength coaches, and doctors not just in Baton Rouge, but all across Louisiana to ensure that athletes are being trained on injury prevention, and having their injuries treated properly so they can return to sports safely without getting hurt again! We are actively performing high-level research to help reduce the rate of injury and improve the outcomes of common youth athletic injuries including ACL tears and other knee injuries.
How Are Broken Bones Treated in Children
Children’s bones are different from adults’ bones in a few key ways. For one, they’re softer and more flexible. They also contain growth plates, which are areas of immature bone tissue at the ends of long bones. Growth plates allow children’s bones to grow long until they reach full maturity. Once growth plates fuse, bones can no longer lengthen.
Children’s bones also heal faster than adults’ bones. As a result, broken bones in children usually heal within six to eight weeks, and sometimes more quickly.
There are a few different methods that doctors use to treat broken bones in children. The most common treatment is immobilization, which involves putting the broken bone in a cast or splint so that it can heal properly.
In some cases, doctors may also need to perform surgery to reposition the bone or insert metal rods or pins to hold the bone in place. If your child has a broken bone, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. We see patients at our
What is the Most Common Orthopedic Condition in Children
One of the most common orthopedic conditions seen in children is sports-related injuries. Injuries can occur from playing a single sport or from participating in multiple sports. The most common sports-related injuries include fractures, dislocations, and sprains. Treatment for these injuries typically includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). rehab, and surgery.
Surgery is usually only required for more severe injuries, such as fractures that require the placement of pins or screws. For less severe injuries, such as sprains or strains, RICE and rehab are often sufficient. Our sports medicine team in Baton Rouge is experienced in treating sports-related injuries in children.
How Do Fractures Affect Growth Plates
Fractures to the growth plate are a common type of break that happens during childhood. Most of these fractures happen in the growth plate at the end of the forearm, but breaks in the knee can have more serious consequences. The most common complication of a growth plate fracture is when the bone doesn’t grow to its full length. This can cause a deformity or make one bone on your body different in length than the other side.
Fortunately, there are many excellent sports medicine specialists experienced in treating growth plate fractures and pediatric sports injuries. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dr. Jeremy Burnham is one such specialist. Dr. Burnham is board certified in both orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. He has extensive experience treating injuries in adolescents and children, and he is currently accepting new patients. He sees patients at several Baton Rouge orthopedic clinic locations as well as surrounding in surrounding locations such as Hammond and Plaquemine, and serving the communities of Gonzales, Walker, Denham Springs, Prairieville, Opelousas, New Roads, Central, Zachary, Baker, St. Francisville, Woodville, Centreville, and Lafayette.