The CHOC Children’s Sports Medicine Program offers young athletes unrivaled services for their sports-related injuries—including care from board-certified physicians, with access to multidisciplinary specialists, state-of-the-art diagnostics, surgical techniques and on-site rehabilitation facilities.
Common injuries and conditions treated:
- ACL injuries
- Meniscus tears
- Knee pain
- Patellar instability
- Osgood-Schlatter disease
- Shoulder conditions related to pitching
- Shoulder instability
- Cartilage injuries
- Fracture care
- Overuse injuries
Specialized Expertise for Sports Injuries Unique to Children
When it comes to sports-related injuries, we know that children aren’t just small adults. In growing children and teens, injuries to bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints are different than with adult patients. Special training and experience in pediatric sports medicine allows our specialists to appropriately treat the unique sports-related medical needs of children and teens.
Our specialists work one-on-one with each patient to develop a unique diagnosis and treatment plan—with an emphasis on preserving future growth and function, and a safe return to play.
Our orthopaedic surgeons take a conservative approach, utilizing nonoperative treatment options when appropriate. Traumatic injuries unique to children, like growth plate injuries and fractures, are treated with an emphasis on preserving future growth and function.
And when surgery is necessary, minimally invasive surgical techniques like arthroscopy—followed by rehabilitation and physical therapy—can minimize the length of recovery.
Comprehensive Services for Young Athletes
Our orthopaedic specialists also work with a pediatric multidisciplinary team to screen for and manage other sports-related conditions.
Sports Medicine Physical Therapy
Our pediatric physical therapists address the needs of young and maturing athletes who suffer from sports-related injuries or want to prevent injuries and improve athletic performance. Board-certified in orthopaedic and sports medicine rehabilitation, our team develops individual plans to prevent and treat any injury that can happen in recreational or competitive sports. Through one-on-one evaluations and treatment sessions, we maximize the potential of each young athlete to effectively, efficiently and safely return to play.
Sports-related Concussion Management
The Concussion Management team takes a sophisticated approach when it comes to sports-related concussions. For athletes who don’t have a history of concussion, our specialists use a computer-based tool to establish a baseline of cognitive function,and then monitor the patient’s recovery if he or she sustains a concussion — including measuring attention span, memory, processing speed and reaction time.
For concussions (including complicated, second impact, multiple concussions, and postconcussion syndrome) our pediatric neuropsychologists offer comprehensive evaluations to determine the extent of brain impairment in young athletes. Based on the findings, our experts will recommend a course of treatment. Our team can be reached around the clock, including nights and weekends, for concussion consultations through the dedicated Sports Medicine Program line at (714) 509-4054.
The CHOC Sports Nutrition team provides athletes with specialized counseling — from basic nutrition to optimizing training capacity and athletic performance. Our counselors can suggest appropriate food selection and timing of meals and snacks for strength training, exercise recovery, and delaying fatigue. They can also advise young athletes on dietary supplements, fluid and electrolyte drinks, and sports bars and gels. We can address nutrition challenges to
performance such as dehydration, iron depletion and other nutrient deficiencies, and food allergies.
Sports Performance Psychology
Our psychologists help young athletes develop the mental skills necessary to perform consistently in training and competition, increase adherence to exercise programs, realize their athletic potential and identify specific behaviors and emotions that impede performance. Our experts can also offer coping strategies when an injury affects ability to participate in sports or exercise activities.
Through the CHOC Children’s Heart Institute, pediatric cardiologists offer screening to identify congenital or acquired heart conditions that can impact sports performance and safety. A visit with our specialists includes a complete and accurate family history and, if indicated, electrocardiogram (EKG).
Frequently diagnosed in children, exercise-induced asthma occurs in about 15-20% of the general population. Our pediatric allergists thoroughly review the athlete’s health history and perform a physical exam that may include lung function testing with an exercise challenge.
Our experts can then make treatment recommendations that may be as simple as properly warming-up before any sports activity. But in some cases, asthma needs to be managed with medication. Our physicians work with each patient, and his or her family, to develop a treatment plan that works for the athlete’s specific sport and lifestyle.
The CHOC Children’s Sports Medicine Program offers the most treatment advanced options and comprehensive care in a compassionate environment. To learn more, or to make an appointment, please call (714) 509-4054. To learn about sudden cardiac arrest and AED programs in schools for young athletes, click here.