Overuse Injuries

You can have peace of mind knowing that the team in Boston Children’s Orthopedic Center has treated thousands of children, adolescents, adults and professional athletes with injuries ranging from the minor to the highly complex. We can provide your child with expert diagnosis, treatment and care — as well as the benefits of some of the most advanced clinical and scientific research in the world. We are honored to be recognized as the #1 Orthopedic Center, Best Children’s Hospital by U.S. News and World Report.

If your child or teen has been diagnosed with an overuse injury, we at Children’s Hospital Boston know that he’s experiencing discomfort, as well as some disappointment at the disruption of his sports training. We’ll approach your child’s treatment with sensitivity and support. We want to get your child back to normal life, and back into the game safely.

About overuse injuries

As more and more kids play recreational and organized sports, there’s been a rise in the number of overuse injuries seen among children and adolescents. And while it’s still unusual for kids under the age of 8 to develop an overuse injury, the age for team sports and team sports training continues to get younger.

•   Overuse injuries are sports-related microtraumas that result from repetitively using the same parts of the body,
    usually by overtraining.
•   A microtrauma is a small injury that can occur to bone, muscle, tendon or ligament. Examples are microtears to
    muscle fibers, stress to the tendon or bruising of the bone.
•   Pain and/or inflammation of the affected area can be symptoms of an overuse injury.

Some overuse injuries are more common in children because of the softness of their growing bones and the tightness of their ligaments and tendons during growth spurts.

Untreated overuse injuries can lead to stress fractures — weak spots or small cracks in the bone.

Many injuries can be prevented with:

•   proper conditioning and training (especially cross-training)
•   sport-appropriate protective gear
•   sport-appropriate equipment

Overuse injuries can heal quickly in children, but they require complete rest of the injured area while it heals.