Increasing injuries in young athletes

About 35-million kids play organized sports each year.

As sports become more competitive, many young athletes train year-round. That can mean more injuries, and more surgeries to fix them.

Remi Ramos has been playing competitive tennis for eight years.

Ramos says, "No time off. Never any time off!"

However, last year, an injury changed everything for the 17-year-old athlete.

"I was in the middle of a four-hour match, and I slid on the clay courts, and I felt something pop in my hip,” Ramos says.

Ramos had a labral tear in both hip joints. Surgeries would require more than a year off the court. It all happened at the height of college recruiting.

"It couldn't have been a worse time for this to happen,” she says.

More than 3.5-million kids receive treatment for a sports injury every year. In the past 10 years, football injuries rose 23-percent and soccer injuries rose 11-percent. Since 2000, there has been a five-fold increase in shoulder and elbow injuries among baseball and softball players.

Now, hospitals around the country are expanding their programs to care for young, injured athletes.

Doctor Jeremy Frank, a Pediatric Sports Medicine Specialist says, "What we found at our center is there are a lot of kids participating in sports, probably more young kids than there are weekend warriors, who are injuring their hips."

To fix Ramos’ injury, Dr. Frank made three small incisions to stitch part of her hip joint, called the labrum, and re-shape the ball and socket.

It has been a long road to recovery for Ramos and her coach but she refuses to give up.

"There was no stopping me from coming back,” she says.
Brian Gordon, Ramos’ coach, says, "She's an unbelievably disciplined young lady, and she loves the sport."

After a year and four months of recovery, Ramos is training for her first tournament.

"I’m extremely nervous, but I’m extremely excited,” she says.

She is ready to prove that she is better than ever.

The rehabilitation process is different for kids and teens who suffer sports injuries.

For example - while adults can lift heavier weights to build muscle, pediatric patients may need to do higher reps and lower resistance to avoid hurting growing bones, muscles, and tendons.

REPORT #2118

BACKGROUND: There has been a rise in sports for youth this past decade, which has only made sports become much more competitive and more physically demanding as the children become older. About 35 million kids ages 5 to 18 play an organized sport each year. Kids begin playing sports so young now, and even start playing competitively towards their sports career as early as age 7.
Because so many children are playing sports, it is making kids train much harder, and spend longer hours everyday training to be able to try and play in college or even in the pros. Because of this more extreme training being put on the youth, it is creating a major strain on the bodies of the kids, and causing many more sports related injuries.

(Source: )

SPORTS INJURIES: Sports injuries are the second leading cause of visits to the emergency room for children and teens, as well as the second leading cause of injury in schools. Almost 3.5 million children are treated for sports related injuries each year. That means that about 10% of all young athletes face a sports related injury. While some of these injuries can turn out to be pretty minor, a lot of them can be season or career ending. Within the past 10 years football injuries have risen 23% and soccer injuries have risen 11%. Shoulder and elbow injuries in baseball and softball players have had a five-fold increase since 2000. Children ages 5 through 14 make up 40% of sports related injuries treated in hospitals. Overuse is the main cause of injury in young athletes, and makes up about half of all sports injuries. The youth is working these same muscles and body parts every single day, more than ever before which is why the recent studies are showing a much more serious number of injuries.
With many children trying to compete more competitively in their future, having a season ending injury could end their whole career, if they miss out on recruiting because of an injury. College and pro recruiting is starting much earlier because of the amount of serious athletes trying to play now. Hospitals and physical therapy centers have to expand all over America to make room for sports injuries which include not only their surgery, but also their rehabilitation process.

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