For young athletes, sports activities are more than just fun and games. Participation in athletics offers children the benefits of physical fitness, coordination, self-discipline, the value of teamwork. However, as children and teens start engaging in year-round sporting activities, injuries to these young athletes become more common. The consequences of overdoing a sport can include injuries that impair growth, and may lead to long-term health problems.
St. Louis Children's Hospital, in conjunction with the Washington University Department of Orthopedic Surgery, administers its Sports Medicine Program using a multidisciplinary approach, which aides in the recovery of injured athletes.
Therapy for sports injuries
Whether your child needs rehabilitation after a surgery or a minor injury, the physical therapists design individualized treatments to help them return to his or her optimal level of functioning. Some of these injuries may include but are not limited to:
- Ankle sprains
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- St. Louis Children’s Hospital has one of the only pediatric sports medicine centers in St. Louis. The center's experienced team of physical therapists and physical therapy assistants blends skills in pediatrics and sports medicine to provide comprehensive rehabilitative care for children.
- Two sports-injury rehabilitation locations are available for your convenience at the Sports Medicine Center at St. Louis Children's Hospital and the Young Athlete Center (located at St. Louis Children’s Specialty Care Center).
- The physical therapy staff has a close relationship with the orthopedic surgeons from the Washington University School of Medicine. This allows for the best continuity of care for children. This affiliation also allows your child to benefit from the latest research and the staff’s high level of expertise.
- Throughout rehabilitation, therapists emphasize the importance of teamwork. The team includes the patient, the patient’s family and the treating therapists or therapy assistants. The staff will take time to listen and respect your child’s needs in order to develop the most appropriate plan of care, and will provide education to prevent future injuries by teaching your child proper techniques to play safe and smart.
- During the end phase of rehabilitation, your child will be able to participate in sport-specific training. These activities may include plyometric training, isokinetic strength testing, and agility training. In conjunction with rehabilitation, the physical therapists will be able to make appropriate recommendations for joint braces, orthotic shoe inserts, or various other splints.
An important part of treatment includes parents. Since insurance may only allow a few treatments at the Center, home follow-up is critical for your child's full recovery. Therapists will teach you how to work with your child for a healthier, injury-free future.