Posts Tagged ‘youth athletes’

Young Hockey Player Successfully Rebounds After Surgery

youth sports hockey playerRyan can’t remember life before hockey. He was two years old when he donned his first pair of skates, and only three years old when he began flying around ice rinks working on his slapshot. Ryan loves the game and can’t get enough of it. Friends and family aren’t surprised, though. Dad was a former goaltender in the National Hockey League and a long-standing professional hockey coach. Hockey is in Ryan’s blood.

Ryan’s passion for the sport has grown over the years, and so has his time on the ice. He got his start playing on local teams, practicing a few hours each week. He progressed to a more serious traveling squad at the age of 10. By 14, Ryan was competing for Thunder Hockey Club, a tier I AAA-level organization that spent every other weekend of the long season (August through April) on the road.

During one of those weekend games in Nashville, Ryan slid across the ice and landed hard on his shoulder. He felt quite a bit of pain and couldn’t move his arm normally. He shrugged it off thinking it wasn’t anything a little ibuprofen and a good night’s sleep couldn’t fix. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

Ryan continued to have a great deal of pain and swelling the next day, so he and his mom left the tournament early and went straight to the emergency room close to his Duluth home. An MRI revealed that Ryan had torn a tendon and bone in his shoulder. Surgery was his only option.

“The news was very shocking,” said Jennifer, Ryan’s mother. “We assumed his shoulder would be fine and had no idea how serious it was.”

Within a few days of the accident, Dr. Kyle Hammond, an orthopedic surgeon with Emory Sports Medicine Center, performed a subscapularis tendon avulsion repair. The procedure to fix the largest and strongest of the four rotator cuff muscles only took about two hours at Emory’s outpatient surgery center in Dunwoody.

“I was nervous before the surgery,” said Ryan. “I was worried that I might not be able to play as well after it, but Dr. Hammond was really confident. He kept reassuring me there was no reason I wouldn’t have a good result.”

And Ryan did have excellent results. The operation went smoothly and he was back at home the same day, planning his return to hockey.

“I treat a lot of young athletes,” said Dr. Hammond. “Their musculoskeletal systems are unique and require special attention because, like Ryan, they may still have open growth plates, but our entire Emory team understands the youth athlete and the intricacies that come with creating an appropriate treatment plan. After meeting Ryan and his family and evaluating his injury, I didn’t see anything standing in the way of a successful recovery for Ryan.”

After surgery, Ryan went through six months of physical therapy to restore mobility in his arm and shoulder. He admitted to being a little apprehensive before stepping on the ice again, but said after a week or two, he didn’t really give his shoulder any more thought.

Jennifer was so pleased with Ryan’s results that she called on Dr. Hammond again when her older son (another hockey protégé) had an injury the following year. After another successful surgery, he too got back in the game quickly, safely, and went on to his collegiate hockey career.

Today, Ryan is 17 years old. He still loves hockey and is counting on it to open some doors for him.

“I’m not sure where I’ll end up,” said Ryan. “All I know is that I really want to play college hockey. This coming season will help determine where.”

About Emory Sports Medicine Center

For more information about Emory Sports Medicine Center, visit or call 404-778-3350.

About Dr. Hammond

Dr. Kyle HammondKyle Hammond, MD, is an orthopaedic surgeon at Emory Sports Medicine Center. He is the head orthopaedic surgeon for the Atlanta Hawks and head team physician for the Atlanta Falcons. He also serves as a team physician for the Atlanta Braves, Georgia Tech, Emory University, and several metro Atlanta high school athletic programs. Dr. Hammond practices at the Brookhaven, Johns Creek and Smyrna locations of Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center.

Injuries in the Young Athlete – How much is too much?

Student Athletes Injury PreventionChildren should be encouraged to participate in sports at a young age. Sports can teach children so many life lessons and helps children build their confidence. However, many parents are starting kids in sports at a young age in the hopes of developing their child into a scholarship athelte or a professional athlete. If a young athlete shows promise, many parents encourage their child to specialize in a specific sport and train year round from as young as 6 or 7 years old. This could be harmful because children’s bodies are still growing and developing. Young athletes are more prone to overuse injuries. It is estimated that close to half of the injuries in young athletes are related to overuse/overtraining. In addition to injuries, young athletes are also susceptible to overtraining syndrome and psychologic stress. Female athletes are particularly at risk for stress fractures and even delayed puberty.

With the exception of baseball pitch count research (which has studied how many pitches a young athlete could handle before injury), there is not conclusive research that indicates exactly how much is too much training for a young athlete. The American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness recommends that young athletes should limit their sports specific activities to five days a week with one complete rest day from all physical activity. In addition, the same council recommends young student athletes take at least 2 months off a year from a specific sport to properly rest and rebuild their bodies. Young athletes should avoid playing on two teams in the same season.

Cross-training is good for the body. Our bodies are not designed to do the same thing over and over again, especially as youth and adolescents. It is also beneficial to play more than one sport. It allows athletes to develop more skills, be involved with a different group of teammates and coaches, and keeps them interested. It is also important to properly train the body in the preseason. In preparing for a season or a race it is important to increase training time/mileage by no more than 10% per week.

Sports are an excellent activity for young children and can help them develop life lessons they will use forever. Parents should be encouraged to pay attention to the child and allow them to rest and relax and take time away from their sport to rebuild and rejuvenate. Pay attention to a child who complains of muscle and joint pains, fatigue, or shows signs of psychologic stress. Athletics are a great way for youth to stay healthy and build a strong character, but remember that the number one reason that young people give for playing sports is “to have fun.”

About Jeff Webb, MD
Jeffrey Webb, MDJeff Webb, MD, is an assistant professor of orthopaedics at Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center. Dr. Webb started practicing at Emory in 2008 after completing a Fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. He is board certified in pediatrics and sports medicine. He is a team physician for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, and serves as the primary care sports medicine and concussion specialist for the team. He is also a consulting team physician for several Atlanta area high schools and other club sports.

Dr. Webb sees patients of all ages and abilities with musculoskeletal problems, but specializes in the care of pediatric and adolescent patients. He works hard to get players “back in the game” safely and as quickly as possible. He is currently active in the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and American Academy of Pediatrics professional societies and has given multiple lectures at national conferences as well as contributed to sports medicine text books.

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Youth Concussion Law in Georgia- House Bill 284

ConcussionsThe Georgia House is reviewing a new youth concussion bill. The bill, House Bill 284, is aimed at concussion education as well as protecting many young Georgia athletes after they experience a concussion. Emory Sports Medicine Center orthopaedist, Ken Mautner, MD comments in the CBS News piece that “There’s a lot of misinformation and unawareness about concussion and I think passing a law like this will bring it into the spotlight, will allow better education, and will ultimately allow protection of our athletes”. Only six states don’t have a youth concussion law so we are hoping the bill passes the House. Watch the News important news report that could keep our young athletes safe here –