Pediatric Sports Medicine: Preventing Pain and Injury in Young Athletes

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While sports are a fun way for kids to stay active, it's important to recognize that their growing bodies are at a greater risk of injury.


By Robert G. Tysklind, MD

The fall season brings new competition and challenges for your children. But fall sports also put strain on your child's body in new ways. And that's why it is important to be mindful of your child's health as they play sports this year.

There are dual challenges with youth sports -- more kids are playing year-round sports and, of course, they are still developing physically. That can be a unique strain for your child, said Robert G. Tysklind, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Riley Children’s Health. This added strain can lead to unique injury patterns in kids that are different than adult injuries.

Children are not just small adults, they have different challenges when it comes to their growing bodies. The demands of competitive sports combined with their developing bones and joints can cause increased stress on their body.

Most kids sports-related injuries revolve around high-growth, high-stress areas like the knee, but can also include the shoulder, elbow, hips and ankles. Pediatric specialists are familiar with these types of injury patterns and work to get kids back on the court or field and feeling their best.

“At Riley Children’s Hospital, every child who enters the door is surrounded by pediatric-focused professionals who treat and care for babies, adolescents, and teens. The care for these young athletes starts at the psychosocial aspects of the injury from the stress and emotions the child may be facing. The pediatric team formulates a treatment plan that encompasses not only the patient but also the family, designed specifically to help your child get back to being a kid,” explains Robert G. Tysklind, MD.

As the nation faces the challenges associated with a pandemic, how this will affect young athletes is unclear. Limitations on sporting events have decreased the number of games and training. Keeping athletes’ bodies at competition level condition remains important to help avoid fatigue and injuries. If a parent suspects their child has a sports injury, our team can help. We provide kid-focused care from the initial visit through treatment and rehabilitation. The newest member of the pediatric orthopedic sports medicine team, Dr. Robert G. Tysklind, is ready to provide the best care for your child to get back in the game.

Robert G. Tysklind, MD

Author of this Article

Robert G. Tysklind, MD specializes in orthopedic sports medicine at Riley Children's Health. He is a guest columnist and located at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health North. He can be reached by calling the office at 317.948.2550.

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