Athletic Injuries in Youth Have Lasting Results

August 20, 2010

The growing number of athletic injuries at younger ages is cause for concern, according to researchers at the University if Michigan Health System.

The growing number of athletic injuries at younger ages is cause for concern, according to researchers at the University if Michigan Health System.

A press release from the University of Michigan Health System, reports that 45 million children participate in organized sports each year in the country. Many engage in serious sports training and specialization at younger ages as well, which may be contributing to the rise of overuse injuries.

"We're seeing more serious sports injuries at a younger age," said Laurie Donaldson, MD, of the University of Michigan MedSport Clinic, in a press release. "The concern is they are still skeletally immature with open growth plates that are prone to injury."

Injuries that cause sprains to a ligament or muscular strain in adults could cause a serious growth plate injury that could effect physical development in a child.

“Growth plate injuries can be very serious, particularly if it's a fracture in one of the long bones because that can affect the growth of the bone,” said Donaldson, who is also team physician for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, in a press release. “If treated improperly, it can either grow too long or not long enough.”

Additionally, females are eight times more likely to suffer an anterior cruciate ligament tear in the knee.