A “scary trend” is how Greg Cross, director of Wellmont’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Program, describes the rising number of youth with sports-related injuries, especially “overuse injuries,” coming to his office during the past five years.
“Those injuries come on kids who end up playing a lot. These kids may play on a travel team. They may play on a city-league team. They play through the summer. They play through the fall. They’ve got a winter league. They’ve got a pitching coach.
“Those kids have open growth plates. They may end up with a lot of shoulder pain or elbow pain. We’re talking about kids who can have internal derangements where they end up having to stay off playing sports for a while or end up actually having to have surgery at a young age to repair problems. That’s kind of a scary trend that we’re starting to see today,” said Cross, who is also a physical therapist.
April is Youth Sports Safety Month, designated by the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation to promote safety in sports participation.
With spring sports season now in full swing, some of the most common sports-related injuries local medical professionals may treat in the next few months could stem from baseball, softball and soccer games.
Read the expanded version of this report in the print edition or the enhanced electronic version of the Kingsport Times-News.