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Myths vs Facts: Youth Soccer Injuries and What to Look Out For – Southlake Orthopaedics

Soccer is a fantastic sport for young athletes, promoting teamwork, fitness, and fun. However, with its fast-paced nature and physical demands, injuries can occur. Southlake Orthopaedics wants to help parents by providing facts about common youth soccer injuries so that children can continue to enjoy the sport they love.

Here are common myths about youth soccer and what you should be looking out for to keep your child safe and healthy:

Myth: It’s okay to play through a head injury.

Fact: Head injuries, like concussions, are serious and require immediate medical attention. According to a study done by the National Library of Medicine, the most common cause of concussion is player-to-player contact. If you notice any symptoms of a concussion in your child, such as headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, or memory problems, it’s crucial to take immediate action. Remove your child from the activity or sport they are engaged in and seek medical attention from a qualified medical professional immediately. It’s essential to also understand that concussion symptoms can appear directly after the injury or even days later, so it’s vital to monitor your child’s condition closely and seek medical attention if they experience any symptoms. Ignoring a potential concussion can lead to serious long-term complications. It’s important to take any head injury seriously and take appropriate action to keep your child safe and healthy.

Myth: All knee injuries require surgery.

Fact: While some knee injuries are more severe and may require surgery, others can heal with proper treatment. The most common knee injury is the ACL tear, and it’s eight times more common in female athletes. ACL tears occur by sudden pivoting or landing awkwardly. Another common knee injury is a meniscus tear. This crucial cartilage in the knee acts as a shock absorber. It can be injured while playing soccer due to awkward starts and stops, forceful impact, or twisting the knee while simultaneously bearing weight. For these injuries, surgery may or may not be required, depending on the severity. Soccer players also often develop an overuse injury just below the kneecap known as patellar tendinitis. This injury is most common in growing boys but usually improves with rest and physical therapy. Proper training techniques, including strengthening exercises, can significantly reduce the risk of knee injuries overall. It’s important to note that if your child is complaining of knee pain, shows signs of swelling, is unable to bear weight on their knee, cannot straighten or bend their knee, or hears a popping or clicking sound in their knee, you should take them to be evaluated by an orthopedic specialist to discover the root cause of their injury.

Myth: Ankle sprains always require medical attention.

Fact: The undisputed king of ankle injuries in youth soccer is the sprain. It occurs when ligaments connecting the ankle bones are stretched or torn. Symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty bearing weight. Fortunately, most sprains heal well with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) therapy.  The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) estimates that 40% of all sports injuries involve the ankle, with sprains being the most frequent culprit. However, parents should also be aware that their little soccer star’s growth plates in the ankle may also be injured while playing their favorite sport. A fall or forceful twisting motion can injure the growth plate in the ankle, causing pain, swelling, and difficulty walking. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent long-term complications, so if this injury is suspected, be sure to visit an orthopaedic specialist right away.

Soccer is an awesome pastime, but it can also be physically demanding and can lead to injuries. As a parent, it’s important to know how to keep your child safe while playing the game they love. By understanding the most common soccer injuries and distinguishing between myths and facts, you can help your child enjoy soccer safely for years to come. If your child is injured, proper treatment from an orthopaedic specialist is key to ensure a full recovery. If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact Southlake Orthopaedics. Our specialists are committed to providing the best care possible to help your child recover and return to the game they love.


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