High school sports are a source of great joy for teens and their families, but injuries can diminish the rewards of being a student-athlete. At High Mountain Orthopedics, Dr. Wanich specializes in diagnosing and treating patients with sports injuries in Wayne, NJ. Here, we discuss common afflictions student-athletes face and how to treat them.

Types of Injuries that Affect Teen Athletes

Injuries can be disappointing for the student, family, coaches, and other team members, but understanding them helps student-athletes stay safe on the field and court. Some of the most common high school athletic injuries include:

Acute Injuries

Sudden traumatic events, such as collisions with objects on the field or other players, can lead to acute injuries. Bruises, concussions, fractured bones, ligament sprains, and muscle strains all constitute acute injury.

Overuse Injuries

Athletes who repeat the same activity frequently often develop overuse injuries over time. These ailments occur because the body does not have enough time to heal the affected area before the athlete repeats the action. For example, overuse injuries can occur in the shoulder from swimming, the elbow from overhand pitching, or the wrist from gymnastics. These afflictions can impact bones, growth plates, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

Overuse injuries in young athletes also often include bone stress fractures. Bone tissue, like with other cells in the body, is constantly rebuilding itself and replacing older tissue. Student-athletes tend to experience a rapid breakdown of older bone tissue due to increased activity, but their younger bodies aren’t able to produce new tissue fast enough. As a result, their bones can weaken, and stress fractures can occur. These injuries typically appear in the feet or shinbone.

Catastrophic Injuries

Student-athletes can also sustain severe injuries from playing high contact sports like football, soccer, ice hockey, and cheerleading. Even with the proper safety equipment and thorough training, teen athletes are still at risk for concussions and growth plate injuries. Growth plates are the areas near the ends of long bones that contain developing cartilage tissue. As growth plates are the last portion of bones to solidify, they are naturally the most vulnerable to breakage. However, because these plates determine the length and shape of adult bone, they can lead to deformities or hindrances in bone formation.

Seek Medical Assistance from High Mountain Orthopedics

Dedicated high school athletes may dismiss their suffering to continue playing, but teens displaying injury symptoms should seek professional medical help. Pain during activity, decreased interest in practice, and changes in technique or form are well-known signs of injury. Untreated injuries can lead to permanent damage or disability, so parents should be aware of these behaviors and make sure their teen is seen by a trusted doctor.

The physicians at High Mountain Orthopedics administer treatments to all the amateur and professional athletes we serve. For teen athletes, we offer high school sports medicine tailored to the unique needs of their bodies. We also provide alternative diets and discuss any contributing psychological or substance abuse issues to prevent further injuries. Regardless of the specific solution we recommend, our goal is to get athletes safely playing their sport again as soon as possible. Learn more about high school sports medicine for teen athletes in Wayne, NJ, by making an appointment today.

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