What We Treat

Because our team is trained in pediatrics, we understand that young athletes must be treated carefully to avoid long-term damage. Our multidisciplinary team includes sports medicine physicians, orthopaedic surgeons, physical therapists and certified athletic trainers. We work together to develop specialized, effective treatments that return young athletes to playing their sport as safely and quickly as possible. We treat athletes with a wide range of sports-related injuries and conditions:

Back, neck and spine

Upper body

  • Broken bones
  • Dislocations and subluxations
  • Gymnast wrist
  • Joint pain
  • Little league elbow: Little league elbow is an overuse condition that causes pain in the inner elbow. The pain may be severe and occur after one hard throw or occur gradually over a season. There may also be swelling, redness and warmth over the inner elbow. With repetitive throwing, and not enough rest in between, the growth cartilage in young athletes weakens and begins to develop tiny cracks. The cartilage may start to pull apart from the arm bone. This is an overuse injury. The best way to prevent and recover from any type of overuse is to rest and minimize the activity that is causing pain. It’s also important to use the right equipment and supportive footwear.
  • Little league shoulder
  • Post-operative shoulder and elbow
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Sprains and strains

Lower body

  • Ankle impingement
  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear
  • Apophysitis
  • Broken bones
  • Dislocations and subluxations
  • Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI)
  • Hip impingement
  • Joint pain
  • Ligamentous and meniscal injuries
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease (pain below the kneecap)*: This is an overuse condition that causes swelling just below the knee on the upper part of the tibia, or shin bone. It's common in young athletes who participate in football, soccer, basketball, volleyball or gymnastics. The repetitive rigorous motion of walking or running during sports overworks the growth center of the knee, causing inflammation, pain and a bump or knot that arises at the top of the shin bone. It's most common in preteens at the peak of their growth potential and affects more boys than girls.
  • Patellofemoral stress syndrome (knee pain)*: Commonly known as runner’s knee, patellofemoral stress syndrome (PFSS) causes pain in the front of the knee. The pain increases with activities like running, jumping and going up and down stairs. It's common in runners and kids who play sports like soccer, lacrosse and volleyball. There are many causes including flat or pronated feet, knees that turn in while running, muscle imbalance, insufficient training and wearing shoes without enough support. Proper stretching and strengthening the muscles around the knee is an important key to prevention.
  • Post-operative hip, knee, ankle and foot
  • Sever’s disease (heel pain)*: This is an overuse condition that causes pain, swelling and tenderness in the heel. It's commonly seen in young athletes who do a lot of running and jumping. It is commonly found in gymnasts and soccer, football, basketball and baseball players. Sever's disease is caused by repetitive pulling on the Achilles tendon that overworks the growth center of the heel. The condition can persist for two to three years, but it won't lead to problems later in life if treated properly.
  • Shin splints
  • Sinding-Larsen-Johansson disease
  • Snapping hip
  • Sprains and strains

*Denotes an overuse injury. The best way to prevent and recover from any type of overuse is to rest and minimize the activity that is causing pain. It’s also important to use the right equipment and supportive footwear.

Our athletic trainers are present on the sidelines at high schools and sports venues to help ensure the safety of athletes and provide immediate care when injuries occur. Our pediatric-trained team of sports medicine physicians and orthopaedic surgeons evaluate injured athletes to determine the best course of treatment to get them back on the field. Our physical therapists teach athletes proper exercises to improve range of motion and strength, and use motion analysis technology to examine mechanics and identify flaws that may contribute to injury. Working together as a team, we provide high-quality care for our athletes with the goal of returning the athlete to their sport as quickly and safely as possible.

For more information, call 404-785-KIDS (5437).

Sports We Specialize In

Our team understands the sports your athlete plays

  • Baseball/softball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Dance
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Hockey

Prepare for Surgery

At Children's, our Sports Medicine team provides comprehensive assessment, treatment and expert advice for young athletes with injuries and conditions that affect sports performance. Because we only work with kids, we recognize when they are ready to progress to the next level of treatment and how to push them. We use special equipment and technology to find and correct techniques and mechanics and improve sport performance. We have the technology, training and team to best treat your child. We offer same-day and next-day appointments at conveniently located facilities. Our services include:

  • Athletic training: We understand the demands and pressures that young athletes face as they play sports, and we believe they need to be managed differently than adults. Our team of certified athletic trainers advises young athletes on how to prevent injury and provides care if they get injured. We work with athletes to help them return safely to the field.
  • Physical therapy: Our physical therapists are experts trained in treating the causes of sports-related and orthopaedic injuries in young athletes. We address these issues so the athlete is able to return to their sport as quickly and as safely as possible.
  • Sports primary care: Our sports medicine physicians provide comprehensive evaluation for a wide range of conditions that affect all kinds of athletes, from baseball players to dancers. We will determine the cause of injury and provide instruction on next steps in the care of young athletes.
  • Sports surgery: Our orthopaedic surgeons have the expertise to surgically repair injuries in growing athletes.

Specialized treatment and testing

Meet the Team

Our surgeons, doctors, physical therapists and certified athletic trainers are dedicated to helping young athletes recover from sports injuries. Because we only work with kids, we recognize when they are ready to progress to the next level of treatment and how to push them. We use special equipment and technology to find and correct techniques and mechanics and improve sport performance. We have the technology, training and team to best treat your child.

Certified Athletic Trainers

We have more than 30 certified athletic trainers on our team.

Meet our athletic trainers

Physical Therapists

We have more than 40 sports medicine physical therapists on our team.

Meet our physical therapists

Sports Medicine Primary Care 

Orthopaedic Surgeons

The Sports Medicine Program

U.S. News & World Report ranks us among the top pediatric orthopaedic programs in the country. Our program combines the latest proven technology and research with a caring, child-friendly approach, making Children’s a top choice for treatment of orthopaedic conditions and injuries.

Our program consists of employed doctors, surgeons, certified athletic trainers and physical therapists as well as community providers whom we work closely with to help ensure care is delivered seamlessly at our hospitals.

Community Providers who participate in the Sports Medicine Program include:

Locations

Our sports medicine primary care physicians and pediatric orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in sports see patients at our 11 office locations.

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Our sports medicine physical therapists see patients at our 14 sports medicine gyms.

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