Pediatric Sports Medicine in Fort Mill, SC
When children become involved in various activities at school or at home, injuries are common. It is important to address these issues appropriately, so the children heal into healthy adults. This is why our pediatric sports medicine specialists are dedicated to treating common conditions and injuries that your children may encounter over the years.
Many serious athletes begin their careers at a young age. Over time, this constant strain and pressure on the body can lead to injury that is simply caused by progressive overuse. A large number of these cases affect the body’s joints since joints are the first line of defense for the body to absorb a hard blow or landing.
If resting the area does not provide significant relief from painful symptoms, it may be time to consult a specialist for further treatment. Parents should also advise their children to prevent overuse injuries, using techniques such as:
- Take at least 1 day per week to rest
- Engage in varying activities rather than focusing on only one
- Gradually work up to intense exercises or sports
- Focus on overall wellness that includes physical, mental, and emotional health components
- Complete thorough physical examinations from SpecOrtho to be cleared for continued activity, as needed
Another extremely common injury for athletes both young and old is a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL. Thanks to modern medicine, even the smallest and most minute of tears to this ligament can be detected using diagnostic imaging tests. It is also now possible for our physicians to treat this condition using minimally invasive techniques like arthroscopy. Repair of pediatric ACL tears requires different techniques than those used for patients whose growth plates have closed. Dr. Feltham has had specialized training and experience with pediatric ACL repairs – including training with a pioneer in pediatric sports medicine, Dr. Ted Ganley at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Osteochondritis (OCD) of the Knee
OCD is a condition that can interfere with the health of various joints in the body. When OCD occurs in the knee, it causes the bone beneath the cartilage to die from a lack of sufficient blood flow. The dead bone can break into fragments that float around the knee, inflicting pain upon the rest of the joints and nearby tissues. These fragments need to be surgically removed unless OCD is caught early enough to be repaired. OCD can occasionally heal on its own if the patient is young and fragmentation has not occurred. Our specialists have had specific training and experience in treating this condition. Dr. Feltham has trained with renowned pediatric sports medicine surgeon Dr. Theodore Ganley at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
The knee can also be compromised due to an injury or tear experienced by its meniscus, which is the crescent-shaped disc of cartilage located between the bones of the knee. When the meniscus is torn, the knee can become swollen, stiff, or locked. Depending on the severity of the tear, recommended treatment can vary from simple rest and icing to surgical repair. Some people are born with a larger than normal meniscus, which makes it more prone to tears; this is called a discoid meniscus.
Patellar instability, also known as kneecap instability, can occur when the kneecap becomes partially or entirely dislodged from its proper position. This condition is often associated with symptoms that include:
- Trouble walking
- A visual deformity of the knee
- Buckling and/or locking of the knee
Often this injury can be treated with bracing and physical therapy, managed through checkups with our orthopedic surgeon. Occasionally surgery is required.
Children can also have negative symptoms from the instability of the shoulder, which is likely to affect young athletes involved in playing baseball, softball, volleyball, and other activities that require frequent overhead motions.
Treatment for shoulder instability typically begins by resting the affected joint and involving the patient in physical therapy exercises. If these methods are unsuccessful, surgery may be needed to fully repair the shoulder.
Another condition is commonly seen in athletes involved in baseball or softball, the thrower’s elbow, interferes with both the inside and outside components of the elbow joint. This inflammatory condition can be addressed using mild treatments like resting the area and regularly icing the elbow to reduce swelling. If the individual continues to aggravate their thrower’s elbow, it is possible for the growth plate and its development to become compromised. If the condition doesn’t improve, you should schedule an appointment with a SpecOrtho specialist.
Osteochondritis (OCD) of the Elbow
Just like osteochondritis of the knee, osteochondritis of the elbow can result in repetitive trauma to the joint. This trauma may lead to significant life-long effects and painful symptoms, which is why you should contact SpecOrtho right away if you begin to notice symptoms.
The accessory navicular is a foot condition that causes an extra bone or piece of cartilage to develop just above the arch of the foot. The accessory navicular is a congenital condition, meaning that it exists from the moment the individual is born. The excess bone or cartilage will not always present with symptoms, but should be removed if it leads to chronic pain or discomfort.
In addition to the instability of the shoulder or kneecap, many of the pediatric patients we treat for sport-related injuries experience symptoms from a condition known as ankle instability. Individuals with chronic issues of ankle instability often have negative symptoms from frequent pain and swelling after accidentally turning their ankle while playing sports, or even while just walking. An athlete with chronic ankle instability should see a SpecOrtho pediatric sports specialist to prevent long-term damage to the joint.