Overuse injuries account for nearly half of all sports injuries in young athletes.
It’s that time of year again. Area kids are hitting the sports fields, and often staggering back off.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 7.3 million teenagers participate in high school sports.
As the number of kids taking part in sports increases, so does the number of injuries.
High-school athletes suffer an estimated 2 million injuries annually, resulting in 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations. Approximately
3.5 million children ages 14 and under will receive treatment for a sports injury this year. These injuries range from scrapes and bruises to more serious issues such as spinal and brain injuries. Injuries can keep athletes out of play for an entire season and, in some cases, cause lifelong problems.
“They told us if he doesn’t have the surgery, he risks not being able to lift his arm to throw a ball at age 40."
Ryan Broe, a 16-year-old football and lacrosse player from Ballston Spa, has seen his share of injuries. Active in football since second grade, he has suffered knee and shoulder injuries and two concussions. His most recent injury, a dislocated shoulder, may keep him off the playing field this entire football season.
“The orthopedic doctor told us he should have arthroscopic surgery, which would mean he wouldn’t get back to playing football this year,” says Ryan’s mom, Kristen Broe.
Ryan was told without surgery, he is at a higher risk of long-term effects from the injury.
“They told us if he doesn’t have the surgery, he risks not being able to lift his arm to throw a ball at age 40,” says Broe.
Although not all injuries can be avoided, experts encourage proper training before the season even starts to help lower the risk.
“Strength training, agility, and speed training,” says Dr. Douglas Kirkpatrick, of North Country Sports Medicine in Queensbury.