With the increasingly competitive nature of many youth sports and with single-sport specialization occurring at young ages, overuse injuries are common among young athletes. Several growth-related factors contribute to the development of overuse injuries in children and adolescents, including the susceptibility of growth cartilage to injury and the adolescent growth spurt. This article will discuss these unique factors and provide an overview of the diagnosis and treatment of overuse injuries in this age group. Specific measures aimed at preventing overuse injuries in young athletes also will be presented.
UCLA Division of Sports Medicine, Los Angeles, CA
Address for correspondence: John P. DiFiori, M.D., FACSM, UCLA Division of Sports Medicine, 10833 Le Conte Ave., 50-080 CHS, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).