The Rehabilitation Services Department at CHOC Children’s provides orthopaedic and sports-related physical therapy for children and young adults. All of our therapies are designed to meet each patient’s specific needs.
Our therapists work to return patients to their prior activity level and help them return to physical education classes, playing with peers and being active in the community. We help children increase their mobility, cope with their injury and educate the family and child about how long it will take to return to the activities they love.
A child’s job is to play, and after orthopaedic surgery that job becomes far more difficult. Our therapists’ main goal is getting kids back outside doing what they love. When it comes to treating athletes, our pediatric physical therapists address the needs of young and maturing athletes who suffer from sports-related injuries.
Board-certified in orthopaedic and sports medicine rehabilitation, our team develops individual plans to 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.
The therapists at the Rehabilitation Services Department at CHOC Children’s work with patients of all ages with a variety of diagnoses. The questions below are some of the most frequently asked about physical therapy as it relates to orthopaedic conditions and sports-related injuries and diagnoses. The answers in this document should not replace the specific information provided by the patient’s therapists or doctor.
The best way to prevent an overuse injury is to not play year-round sports. Any joint or muscle can be overused if not allowed to rest between seasons. This rest can be active, meaning the child can play a new or different sport while resting from their favorite sport. Young athletes can also reduce the amount of injuries they experience by being flexible. The more flexible an athlete is, the less likely he or she is to be injured. For best results, the specialists at CHOC Children’s recommend stretching before and after practices or games. Learn more about the stretches that can help prevent sports-related injuries.
The length and amount of therapy a child will need depends on the child’s diagnosis and the time the family devotes to performing the home exercise program. Some children will only require a few visits while others may require therapy for as long as six months if they have undergone a major reconstruction of the joint.
We strive to help each child return to their desired sport, but if that sport is not appropriate we work with the family and the child to determine other activities that may be just as rewarding. Please speak with the child’s therapists or physicians about any of your specific questions.