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Fractures and sports injuries

Fractures and sports injuries

Fractures and sports injuries


Whether your child is an active athlete or just a toddler jumping on the bed, there is a good possibility that he or she will take a spill at home or on the playing field at some time.

Fractures are common in children; however, because a child's bones are subject to a unique injury called a growth plate fracture, it is important that broken bones in children are treated properly. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, approximately 15 to 30 percent of all childhood fractures are growth plate fractures.

Growth plate treatment will be determined by the severity of injury; however, in all cases, treatment should be started as soon as possible.

Sports injuries

Sports participation promotes the physical and emotional well-being of children and also encourages the lifelong habit of exercise. Although the benefits of athletic activity are significant, too much activity can lead to injury.

Because young athletes are still growing, they are at a greater risk for injury than adults. The consequences of overdoing a sport can include injuries that impair growth and may lead to long-term health problems.

At Shriners Hospitals for Children — Spokane, we treat the following sports injuries:

  • Ligament injuries (ACL)
  • Cartilage/meniscus injuries
  • Severe sprains
  • Overuse injuries: These injuries occur gradually over time, when an athletic activity is repeated so often that areas of the body do not have enough time to heal between use.

Treatment options

Children's bones heal faster than adult bones. This means that a child with an injury should see an experienced pediatric orthopaedic specialist as soon as possible following the injury. The child needs proper treatment before the bone begins to heal to avoid long-term consequences, such as limbs that are crooked or of unequal length.

Treatment will generally involve a combination of the following.

  • Manipulation or surgery
  • Casting
  • Physical therapy
  • Long-term follow-up

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Spokane is now providing priority scheduling for all documented, stable fractures. Learn more about our fracture clinic.