Cartilage and ligament damage, broken bones and tendonitis have always been the bane of college and professional athletes, sidelining them from practice, tournaments and even entire seasons of play. We are seeing these types of injuries in younger children too.
According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, annually approximately 30 million children and adolescents participate in athletics. Each year high school athlete’s account for nearly 2 million injuries and nearly twice as many children under the age of 14 receive medical treatment for sports related injuries.
The game has changed dramatically in youth sports. Neighborhood pick-up matches have given way to organized teams with rigorous schedules. Children start playing sports at a much younger age than their parents did, frequently focusing on a single sport before hitting puberty. With an increase in travel teams, recreational leagues and summer clinics, single-season sports have morphed into year-round commitments.
This shift has put our young athlete at risk for injuries and created a need for a Pediatric and Adolescent Sports Medicine subspecialty.
Understanding the Difference
“Children are not small adults therefore the child athlete is not a little adult athlete.” Young athletes are at risk for specific injuries as their bodies are still growing and changing, and cannot always be treated with the same techniques used in adults. Dr. Gambacorta, Medical Director of the Pediatric and Adolescent Sports Medicine Department at the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, understands the difference and uses a wide range of surgical and non-surgical treatment options that are specific to these types of injuries in the developing athlete.
Common Pediatric and Adolescent Sports Related Injuries Treated in the Clinic Include:
- ACL Tears (in children with open and closed growth plates)
- Other Ligament Injuries (PCL, MCL, PLC, LCL)
- Meniscal Tears and Discoid Meniscus
- Osteochondral Fractures
- Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)
- Patella Dislocations and Instability
- Anterior Knee Pain
- Osgood Schlatter’s Disease
- Multidirectional Instability
- SLAP Tears
- Labral Injuries
- AC Separations
- Little Leaguer’s Shoulder
- Rotator Cuff Injuries
Elbow/ Wrist/ Hand:
- Little Leaguer’s Elbow
- Osteochondritis Dissecans
- Ulnar Collateral Injuries
- Apophyseal Injuries
- TFCC Tears
- Labral Tears
- Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)
- Snapping Hip
- Avulsion Injuries
- Sprains / Strains
Lower Leg/ Ankle / Foot:
- Exertional Compartment Syndrome
- Shin Splints and Stress Fractures
- Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)
- Achilles and Peroneal Tendon Injuries
- Os Trigonium
- Ankle Sprains
- Ankle Instability
On your first appointment with Dr. Gambacorta, you should expect a skilled interaction and an orthopedic physical examination. Once the problem has been identified, Dr. Gambacorta will begin treatment of the problem. He often provides patient education material and utilizes unique teaching techniques to help the whole family fully understand the injury and the expected course of the problem.
This information is intended for education of the reader about medical conditions and current treatments. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, and care provided by your physician or a licensed healthcare provider. If you believe that you, your child, or someone you know has the condition described herein, please see your healthcare provider. Do not attempt to treat yourself or anyone else without proper medical attention.