Orthopedic Minute — Pediatric Orthopedic Sports Injuries


Orthopedic Minute — Pediatric Orthopedic Sports Injuries


Time for another Orthopedic Minute presented by Washington University Physicians.

Hi, my name is Charles Goldfarb and I’m an Orthopedic Surgeon at Washington University Orthopedics and when I see patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital or the Orthopedic Center at Chesterfield, I often see them because of pediatric sports injuries of the upper extremity.

Let’s talk about some specific injuries for the pediatric upper extremity from sports. First, there are certain sports that especially predispose to orthopedic injuries including gymnastics. Gymnasts see two common injuries. The first is a wrist injury from constant overload or pressure on the growth plates of the distal radius. This is difficult to treat and often requires a backing off from sports and a shutdown for a temporary period of time. However, the good news is most kids get back to gymnastics after this type of injury.

The second problem is at the elbow with what we call an OCD or an Osteochondral Defect of the Lateral Elbow. This is much more difficult to treat and expectations are limited. Other common sports injuries include baseball players who can jam their fingers and have what we call mallet fingers and baseball players are also predisposed to elbow injuries.

The difficulty with a sports injury in any age patient is expectations for the future and return to play. This is compounded in the pediatric patient because the kids want to get back to sports but we have to balance that desire with a rationale approach to the future.