Kids and Sports Injuries

Over 40 million children and teens are estimated to participate in sports yearly. Unfortunately, more than 4.3 million of them will experience sports injuries. A few of the most common injuries include:

Ankle Sprains

A common injury is an ankle sprain that occurs when the ligaments are overstretched, or there is sudden movement or twist. Tears and bleeding (i.e., bruising and swelling) around the ankle occur. These injuries happen when a person runs, jumps, or quickly changes direction.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears

ACL tears may occur via a hard hit to the knee or when an athlete lands a jump or turns suddenly and twists the knee. You typically will feel or hear a pop in the knee and most likely cannot continue playing. Significant swelling of the knee also develops within hours. If you have experienced these symptoms in your knee, you should see a physician (orthopedic surgeon or sports medicine physician) soon.


A concussion occurs from a direct blow to the head. Common symptoms include headache, dizziness, blurry vision, confusion, and slowness in answering questions.  

Fractures (Broken Bones)

A bone fracture is a full or partial break of a bone. Fractures can occur in any bone in the body. Symptoms include:

  1. Pain/swelling.
  2. Visible deformity or crookedness.
  3. Difficulty in moving the injured body part.
  4. Bruising, warmth, or redness.

Little League Elbow/Shoulder

Improper throwing mechanics causes “Little League” shoulder and elbow injuries. While usually occurring in sports such as baseball, these injuries may also occur in sports such as racquet sports, swimming, gymnastics, and volleyball.

Shin Splints

Shin splints are caused by repetitive stress to the muscles, tendons, and tissues of the shin bone (tibia) over time, without enough rest to give the leg enough time to heal.

Turf Toe

The “Turf Toe” occurs when the big toes bend too far upward or downward. Some causes include jamming the toe, pushing off a hard surface, or pushing off repeatedly from the ball of the foot when running or jumping. There may be swelling at the base of the big toe, but usually just pain, especially with moving the toe up.

Your child should see a provider when:


  • Unable move joint, arm, or leg
  • Pain interferes with daily activity or sleep
  • Pain does not go away
  • The joint is swelling, instability, or locking


Bryan Duell, DO – Orthopedics
Duncan Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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