Overuse injuries in youth: part I
A few injuries to look out for in children, especially those involved in early specialization and/or competitive sports.
Osgood-Schlatter’s disease: common in children 9-16, during growth. It occurs when the patellar tendon pulls on the tibial tubercle due to quad contractions. It can result in the tendon pulling off part of the bone (avulsion fracture)
Sever’s disease: analogous to Osgood-Schlatter’s but instead of the knee, occurs at the heel. The Achilles tendon pulls on the calcaneal tuberosity (heel bone)
Little league elbow: due to repetitive throwing motion in throwing sports. Can cause damage to the growth plate around the elbow joint.
Overtraining syndrome: a complex, debilitating condition which involves physical and mental components. Often results in decreased performance and or perceptions of fatigue. This condition may be very difficult to recognize. It occurs when the body’s rate of recovery can’t keep up with the stress of exercise.
Stress fractures: repetitive stress to weight bearing bones (i.e. tibia, fibia) can cause micro fractures. Common in sports with lots of running and jumping.
Stay tuned for prevention and treatment advice in part II