When athletes, dancers, and band members often get injured on the practice field or in the game, the first person to assess them is an athletic trainer.
For kids with serious injuries like a broken bone or a sprained muscle, it means they need a higher level of care. That’s when they should be evaluated by a pediatric orthopedic team.
Pediatric orthopedic doctors are trained in understanding how kids’ bones and muscles work and break, so you want your child treated by a team of experts.
Dr. Tyler Stavinoha, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at CHRISTUS Children’s, said the first thing a parent should do if their child has a sprain or a suspected bone break at sports, cheer, dance or band practice is to determine the extent of the injury.
“Once you’ve talked to the trainer to determine the extent of the injury, you’ll want your child, yes even your 6 feet, 4 inches tall, 14-year-old son who has an adult-sized body, to be evaluated by a pediatric orthopedic doctor. We understand bone breaks, sprains, and how kids’ bodies move,” Stavinoha said.
As part of the evaluation process, doctors will assess the injury and the area around it. Every child is unique, so Stavinoha says they will develop a treatment plan that is in the best interest of the child’s long-term well-being.
Some injuries may require surgery as the best option.
“Our team works together with every patient and their family, and their athletic trainers or coaches, to understand their needs and build the plan together,” Stavinoha said.
Stavinoha said parents know their child and their pain tolerance. When they’re performing at high levels, they may want to push through the pain for a short-term gain, but it can be detrimental to them long-term.
For more information, visit CHRISTUS Children’s website at CHRISTUSchildrens.org