In recognition of World Pediatric Bone and Joint (PB&J) Day on October 19th, we want to bring attention to the most common pediatric injuries, their causes, and how to prevent them.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common injuries among children are to their hips, legs, and back.
There are a variety of reasons why these particular injuries are so prevalent.
Obesity is one major factor. According to the CDC, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children, and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Obese children are more likely than their normal-weight peers to have orthopedic problems, such as Blount’s disease (a disorder that affects the bones in the lower legs) and slipped capital femoral epiphysis (a dislocation of the hip). In addition, carrying excess weight puts unnecessary stress on the joints, which can lead to pain and degenerative joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis.
Sports overuse injuries are another common cause of pediatric bone and joint pain.
In fact, studies have shown that up to 50% of young athletes will suffer from an overuse injury at some point during their career. The most common overuse injuries we see in kids are tendinitis, stress fractures, and growth plate injuries. These injuries often occur when kids participate in a single sport year-round, or when they ramp up their training too quickly without giving their bodies time to recover.
Finally, genetics can play a role in a child’s risk for developing certain orthopedic conditions.
For example, children who have family members with arthritis or scoliosis (a curvature of the spine) are more likely to develop these conditions themselves.
While there are many causes of pediatric bone and joint injuries, there are also ways to prevent them.
Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise is one of the best ways to reduce your child’s risk for developing obesity-related orthopedic problems. If your child participates in sports, make sure they take breaks throughout the year, and avoid any sudden increases in training intensity or duration. And finally, if there is a family history of arthritis or other orthopedic conditions, be sure to talk to your child’s doctor about any steps you can take to reduce their risk.
Healthpointe is a leading multidisciplinary healthcare organization offering a full range of medical services in practice locations throughout Southern California. As a highly regarded musculoskeletal group, we have a personal investment in the highest level of service, and we are proud of our record of excellence over the last four decades with private patients, injured workers, urgent care, personal injuries, and professional and non-professional athletes. Leading our organization is a dynamic team of healthcare professionals who continually strive to be at the forefront of medical innovation and healthcare service delivery. For more information, a complete list of services, and Healthpointe locations, visit healthpointe.net