Almost one third of all childhood injuries are sports-related. Children
between 5 and 14 years of age account for nearly 40% of all
sports-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments and
the injury severity increases with age.
Sixty percent of organized
sports-related injuries occur during practice.
About 20% of children and
adolescents playing organized sports are injured each year and 1 in 4
of these injuries is considered serious.
The most common sport-related
injuries in children are sprains and strains, bone and growth plate
injuries, repetitive motion injuries, concussions and heat-related
The x-ray shown reveals a Salter-Harris type III fracture of
the medial malleolus of the left ankle, note that the fracture line is
in the epiphysis and does not cross the growth plate. The red arrow
demonstrates the fracture line while the blue arrow reveals the growth
Approximately 2 out of 5 traumatic brain injuries among children are
associated with participation in sports and recreational activities.
Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of sports-related death in
children, the majority of which occur during bicycling, skateboarding,
or skating incidents.
Most (80-90%) traumatic brain injuries are mild.
These mild traumatic brain injuries are called concussions. Concussions
are functional, not structural, injuries and no abnormality is seen on
CT scan or MRI.
A brain contusion is a more serious injury associated
with localized structural damage and bleeding, often from multiple
hemorrhages, which are readily apparent on CT scans (arrows). They are
most commonly found in the frontal and temporal lobes.
A concussion or mild traumatic brain injury is a transient alteration of
mental status induced by traumatic biomechanical force, with or without
loss of consciousness. Every year athletes sustain concussions playing
sports, with football having the highest prevalence. There are over
40,000 concussions suffered every year among high school players.
damage caused by concussions can have long-term effects.
concussion are many. The most common symptoms in adolescent males are
headache, dizziness/unsteadiness, confusion/disorientation,
concentration difficulty and amnesia. In adolescent females common
symptoms include headache, dizziness/unsteadiness, concentration
difficulty, confusion/disorientation and drowsiness. Diagnosis is
clinical as routine imaging studies of the brain such as CT and MRI
(shown) are typically normal.