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Knee Injuries in Young Athletes on the Rise

Youth sports provide young people with several benefits including, but not limited to, physical conditioning, the chance to socialize with friends and teammates, and a decrease in obesity. Unfortunately, there are also several risks involved with sports. A new study presented at The American Academy of Pediatrics’ annual meeting showed that knee injuries from sports among young athletes are increasing at an alarming rate.

Scientists are not certain as to the cause of the increase in ACL tears in young athletes, but many physicians suggest several potential factors. Today, children often watch professional athletes on TV and aspire to be more like them. In hopes of achieving their dreams, children may push themselves or feel pressured to play sports at competitive levels, typically choosing multiple sports to participate in. As one sports’ season ends, another one begins, or for some children, their season never ends as they continually play a sport year-round. Therefore not allowing time for a child's growing body to rest and recuperate.

"Twenty years ago, children were not playing sports at such intense levels," explains Dr. Christopher Hamilton, sports medicine specialist at Southern California Orthopedic Institute. "As a result, their knees rarely had to endure the kinds of repeated twists and hard hits that young players regularly experience today."

Rest is always best between sports, but if your child suffers an injury, it’s important to treat it appropriately from the beginning to help them return to play safely. If a knee injury is keeping your son or daughter off the playing field or court, please call (877) 933-3387 today to schedule an appointment with one of our sports medicine specialists.

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