AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin Doctor is warning parents about an increase of kids getting a major surgery to repair a sports injury we usually see in adults.
Dr. Kelly Cline, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Texas Orthopedics in Austin, says national research shows a disturbing trend in young children.
“It’s showing that even as young as the 5-9 age range population has had an increase rate of ACL injuries requiring surgery,” she said.
Tearing your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) can be incredibly painful for anybody, but with kids, Dr. Cline says it’s a delicate surgery because they are still growing.
“They have growth plates in their knee, so we can’t do the same surgery we would do in a 17 or 18 year old,” she said.
Dr. Cline said the research that shows an increasing number of ACL injuries in children says kids are over-stressing their growing bodies for a number of a reasons.
“They are having more intense training, they are practicing longer hours and some kids are specializing in one sport and playing on multiple teams, so we are seeing these kids come into the office more frequently,” she said.
Her advice to parents: listen to your kids. “If you know your kid is trying to play through something and they say ‘my knee or shoulder hurts,’ listen to that and let them have an appropriate period for rest, even it means they miss a week of practice or a tournament.”