Every year, millions of teenagers participate in high school sports. Teenage athletes are injured at about the same rate as pro athletes. But, injuries that affect high school athletes are often different from those that affect adult athletes. Growth plate injuries and spondylolisthesis are two sports-related injuries affecting high school athletes.
In children, there are areas of tissue near the end of long bones that continue to grow, even into adolescence. These areas, called growth plates, are injured more easily than soft tissues like tendons and ligaments.
A sports activity that causes a sprain in an adult could cause a more-serious injury in a high school athlete. Growth plate injuries happen most often in contact sports like football or basketball and in overuse sports like gymnastics or baseball.
All sports injuries and complaints from young athletes should be assessed by a physician.It is important not to pressure the athlete to work through the pain. This is because untreated injuries can lead to permanent damage or may lead to later disease. It is important that a child's injury has completely healed before they are allowed to return to their sports activity. Even if the child's injury has healed, it is possible that there may be a psychological or emotional reason for the child not wanting to return to sports activity. This possibility should be investigated before the child returns to play.