There are significant differences in the patterns of sports injuries that are sustained by children as opposed to those seen in adults. Appropriate diagnosis, investigation and management are required.
- Sports participation comes with great physical and psychosocial benefits for children and adolescents but also with an element of risk.
- The patterns of injury in children and adolescents differ to those seen in adults and relate to the unique properties of the developing musculoskeletal system.
- The adolescent growth spurt represents a period of increased vulnerability for injury.
- Imaging modalities should only be used when necessary in the young athlete, to minimise exposure to ionising radiation.
- Assessing and managing paediatric sporting injuries appropriately is important in promoting ongoing participation and minimising attrition rates from organised sport.
- The potential for a missed diagnosis of a more serious condition exists because of the overlap of symptoms with common sports injuries; alternative diagnoses should be considered in patients with atypical signs and symptoms.