Youth soccer player dribbles

With easing COVID-19 restrictions, we are on the move again, especially children and teens in sports. With that comes the potential for injury and Vidant Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is here to help.

Vidant Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Palmer appeared on WITN to discuss common sports injuries and how to prevent them.

Youth soccer player dribbles

He said the most common sports-related injuries he sees are broken wrists and clavicle fractures. The most important things you can do for yourself or your child to prevent sports injuries is to maintain a typical healthy lifestyle and get plenty of Vitamin D.

Dr. Palmer said a unique risk this year is young people returning to sports after a year away.

“I’ve seen quite a number of children in my clinic who have gone back, and just participating in a field day event at school and they’ve actually gotten stress-related fractures from what we would consider everyday events,” Dr. Palmer said. “That is probably just because their bodies aren’t used to the load from sports. I think taking it slow and easing back into things and making sure they have a good healthy diet is a good start to prevent injuries.”

He also discussed the importance of the implementation of rules to limit overuse injuries. An example of this is rules set by youth baseball organizations in conjunction with Major League Baseball to keep children safe. Dr. Palmer encouraged coaches and parents to educate themselves on these rules and stay on top of them to keep children healthy.

While many sports-related injuries in children just require typical treatment like rest and ice, some are more serious. It can be challenging to know when it’s time to consult a physician but Dr. Palmer gave some tips on what to look for.

“When we see a patient, if they have limited range of motion, inability to weight bear, swelling about a joint, reduced motion about that joint,” Dr. Palmer said, “certainly if there’s a bone sticking out of the skin or there’s bleeding, those are more urgent things that we should address and potentially may need surgery. Other sports-related injuries are ACL tears or ligament tears and shoulder instability that we think about.”

Visit the Orthopedics and Sports Medicine section of VidantHealth.com to learn more about services Vidant offers.

Health News | Orthopedics and Sports Medicine