When to Seek Medical Care for Young Athletes With Joint Injuries

hockey safety
There are an estimated 50 million kids playing competitive youth sports in the U.S. Shoulder and knee injuries commonly occur in athletes who play sports such as ice hockey.

Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries are common injuries in hockey. They most often are caused by the collision that is forced when one player drives another into thee boards or ice. Different types of injuries may occur.

When to seek immediate medical care

The following symptoms indicate a serious joint abnormality that requires immediate treatment or rehabilitation.

  1. when the collar bone appears deformed
  2. if the athlete indicates the shoulder is “out of socket”

Knee Injuries

A common sudden injury in ice hockey is a Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) sprain or tear, which occurs when the knee is forced inward during a collision. The collision is usually with another player and the knee is hit on the outer side, causing pain on the inner side. Athletes with a damaged MCL often experience pain, which can be followed by a lot of swelling within 24 hours.

When to seek medical care

  1. For sudden knee injuries, athletes should see their pediatrician or a pediatric sports medicine physician if pain and/or swelling persist after a day of PRICE treatment.
  2. Knee pain that comes on slowly over time can indicate other problems such as joint alignment, cartilage defects, and damage to tissues caused by repetitive movements and activity.Athletes with this symptom should see their pediatrician or pediatric sports medicine physician to identify the cause and get on the correct treatment path.
  3. For gradual onset knee injuries, athletes should see heir pediatrician or pediatric sports medicine physician if pain returns quickly with activity at the next session or is not gone after two weeks of forced rest.

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