Fort Myers Physical Therapy Builds Strength After Teen Knee Surgery

Popularity of youth sports has exploded in recent years, and that’s great news for public health. However, it has also meant an uptick in child sports injuries – especially knee injuries like ACL tears. FOCUS Fort Myers physical therapy can help your teen  get back on their feet – and hopefully back to their sport – often with a few months of treatment.

The Cleveland Clinic reports it’s not just boys but girls too who are suffering sports injuries, as their participation rates have spiked. The hospital reports male and female injury rates are about the same these days, with 40 percent of all child injuries requiring emergency department treatment now being sports-related, amounting to roughly 4.4 million annually.

Our FOCUS Fort Myers physical therapists know sometimes  child sports injuries are worsened when coaches or teammates trivialize them, urging the youth to just play through the pain and stay tough.

This is almost never in your child’s best interest, and there are several reasons, including:

  • Healing and return to the sport is often substantially delayed.
  • An injury that would have been relatively easy to treat can become more complex.
  • In some cases, it can ratchet up the pain level so high it can make it impossible to continue participating in the sport they love.

Why Teen Knee Injuries Must be Taken Seriously

As our Fort Myers physical therapy team can explain, teens are still in the growth phase, the growth plates and cartilage (strong connective tissue) regions from which the bones enlarge or elongate are critical to continued healthy growth. If your teen athlete is putting repetitive stress on these body components or if he or she suffers a forceful blow, it can result in injury and potentially long-term functional impediments.

Some examples of common youth sports injuries include:

  • A broken bone. If there is a fracture to the knee growth plate it is serious and is almost always treated with surgery because otherwise the bone may stop growing properly.
  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). This is when cracks form in the cartilage and there can be separation of the bone from its rightful place in the knee joint. This can be mild to serious, and may require surgery.
  • Anterior knee pain is too often dismissed as “growing pains.” In reality, it’s typically the result of poor alignment or flexibility, imbalance of the muscles or general overuse.
  • Knee ligament injuries. Because cartilage between leg bones is more elastic, these injuries aren’t as common in younger athletes, but they can still occur. However, as they get closer to adulthood and their bone growth stops, they become more likely.
  • ACL Injuries. Most of the time, this isn’t caused by a forceful blow but rather a twisting or hyper-extension on the interior ligament. These are becoming increasingly common among young athletes, especially teen girls. The rate of ACL injury has risen 400 percent among teenagers over the past 15 years.
  • Meniscal injury. This is that moon-shaped cartilage between the femur and tibia and it’s usually injured when there is some type of twisting. These almost always necessitate surgery and roughly five months of physical therapy. 

If your child or teenager has suffered a sports injury, FOCUS Fort Myers physical therapy is one of the best paths to recovery.

FOCUS offers pediatric physical therapy in Fort Myers and throughout Southwest Florida. Call (239) 313.5049 or Contact Us online.

Additional Resources:

Adolescent Anterior Knee Pain, American Academy of Orthopaedic surgeons

More Blog Entries:

Pediatric Physical Therapists Say Swapping Seats Can Boost Grades, Sept. 15, 2018, Fort Myers Physical Therapy for Kids Blog

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