Injury Prevention in Youth Sports [Video]
Summit Orthopedics + YMCA Community Partnership Video Series
Summit Orthopedics Sports Medicine Physician Amy Beacom, M.D., and YMCA Athletic Director Thomas Chatman discuss common youth sports injuries and strategies for injury prevention.
Meet Amy Beacom, M.D.
Dr. Beacom’s approach: “Staying active has always been important to me — in and out of the water. That’s why I’ve dedicated my practice to treating running and swimming orthopedic injuries. So my patients are able to stay active too.”
Dr. Beacom’s education: After earning her undergraduate degree at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, Dr. Beacom completed medical school at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She then went on to complete her residency at Methodist Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis, Indiana, as well as a Sports Medicine fellowship at San Jose Medical Center in San Jose, California.
Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive sports medicine expertise
From Olympians to pro athletes to kids in youth sports and those that just want to be more active—Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Plymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.
More resources for you
- Ask Dr. Pepin: How Many Sports Should My Child Play?
- Watch the video: Benefits of Performance Training for Student Athletes
- Ask Dr. Skendzel: When Can My Child Safely Begin Sports?
- Does My Child Have A Fracture?
In sports one of the things that we’re seeing is the overuse injury, right, where the same athlete is participating in the same sport for all of their sports career and then they start to wear out those muscles and they don’t develop the others which is where you get the imbalance and now you’re in a doctor’s office saying alright, my achilles, my knee, my thigh. You know, there’s all these different injuries that come in just from overuse. And I also think that we live in an age of training and specification around the sport and we also got to be careful that we’re not overworking certain muscles, as well. So being able to be more well-rounded is one of the things we kind of take an approach to here at the Y is making sure that we can get kids engaged in multiple sports throughout the year so they can work multiple muscles at the same time. – I think the more sports someone does, the better, especially at a young age if they don’t specialize. Your athlete that does soccer, hockey, and either softball or baseball, so fall, winter, spring, they move their body in so many different ways. They’re good at all of them. They’re coachable because my body moves that way, oh because I did it here. They can translate across the board. I think that’s a better, well-rounded athlete than, you know, maybe someone who just does ones sport because they just don’t move the same. I think any kind of activity that they’re doing is gonna be good. I’m a big fan of like not specializing kids in a certain sport which is hard because there’s a lot of pressure to do that. You know the best professional athletes are the ones that did a lot of different sports. They didn’t just hyperfocus. Like oh I played baseball my whole life. Well, yeah but I also did football and hockey and different things and basketball. Those are the athletes that do the best because they switch it up. There’ll come time to focus as they get older later high school or they, you know really get dialed into Warner College. But I think that’s a really good thing the more they do. So, yes, I think the more active they are year-round is helpful but sometimes some things are just sports specific and it’s just, I think, the nature of the beast. – So we have five core sports right now, basketball, soccer, track and field, flag football and swim team is our biggest sports. We also have what we call secondary sports which is T-ball, baseball, softball, badminton. We run, we run the whole gamut when it comes to sports. So we do have different skill levels but at the same time we believe in multi-level teams. So just because I’m really good at shooting I may not be the best defensive player or I may not be the best dribbler so I still have some room to work. If I can’t throw the ball more than five yards maybe that’s an opportunity for me to play quarterback, whereas, in a very, very competitive setting I may be on the line. So we at least give opportunities for kids to develop their skills and our athletes really, really, have fun with all of our programs. – You know growth plates are the biggest, they’re the biggest vulnerability for kids and, you know, kids’ bones are soft. Where we’re gonna sprain something, a kid doesn’t sprain anything, a kid breaks. They usually, you know, separate the growth plate. That’s the number one thing that a kid’ll do. And they heal very quickly, you know, but you have to treat it like a broken bone. So it’s a fracture but a special kind of fracture and you have to treat the growth plate first, more so than anything else. There’s growth plates that extend your bones, bone length, and there’s growth plates where tendons attach like in the back of the heel, in the knee, Osgood-Schlatters, one that people talk about a lot, that’s where the patellar tendons, so those are very vulnerable. Kids that throw, that are pitchers that throw, elbows have several growth plates in them and that’s, we worry about those, and that’s typically what will get irritated too because they overuse them, they pull on the growth plate and the only way those get better is rest, the only way.
Artificial turf is growing in popularity. But concerns have been raised about the safety of these synthetic fields. Dr. Skendzel explains what we know about the safety of artificial turf today, and what we hope to learn from research that is underway.
Ask the Expert: Sports Medicine Video Series
Ask Dr. Skendzel: Given emerging research about concussions, is it safe for my child to play high school football?
Emerging research suggests that concussions sustained by high school football players can result in serious injury. Sports medicine physician Dr. Jack Skendzel helps parents evaluate the risks.