If your teen is involved in sports, don’t be surprised if sooner or later, he or she gets injured and needs surgery.
There is one specific part of the body that when injured, requires more surgery than any other body part in high school athletes.
It is the knee.
This fact comes from the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
The results pertain to the following high school sports:
Football, basketball, soccer, baseball and wrestling (boys); and volleyball, soccer, basketball and softball (girls).
Though in high school sports, the knee is the second most common site of injury, it is the No. 1 site for surgery.
Which high school sports cause the most knee injuries?
For boys it’s wrestling and football. For girls it’s basketball and soccer.
What are the most common type of knee injuries for high school athletes?
“The knee has multiple ligaments that can be injured as well as the menisci and articular cartilage which can all be injured in adolescent sports,” says Jason Baynes, MD, a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon with Health East Medical Center in Englewood, NJ.
Parents should not let these findings scare them away from encouraging their kids to play sports.
After all, sports participation helps deflect the temptation to smoke, drink and do drugs, and encourages self-discipline and goal setting, not to mention weight control and teamwork.
Dr. Baynes, who was not involved with the investigation, points out that the second most common body part among young athletes that requires surgery is the shoulder.
“Shoulder injuries in adolescents are usually only to the labrum from dislocation or overhead throwing,” says Dr. Baynes.
Most labrum injuries, however, do not require surgery.
The full report is in the June 2008 The American Journal of Sports Medicine.