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Children are not small adults – which is why they should see a pediatric sports medicine physician for sports injuries.

Whether playing sports, exercising, or having fun on the playground, sometimes children get hurt. At Shriners Children’s, we know children's bones, joints and muscles. We understand why injuries to growing bones and growth plates (the area where bones grow) need special attention.

In a growing child, growth plates are open and are the weakest part of a child's skeleton. Injuries can occur at the growth plates because of overuse, when movements are repeated over and over in that part of the body while playing.

We work hard to reduce fear and answer questions while we care for children and their families. Our goal is to get children back to what they love quickly and safely.

All appointments start with a history and physical exam. Our sports medicine doctors need to learn how an injury happened before deciding on a care plan. During the first visit, your doctor will look at the injury and test range of motion to see how well the arms or legs can move.

A child with an injury may need splinting, casting, a bone fixed, or surgery.

Radiology and rehabilitation are important for care of broken bones or injuries. X-rays or other images may be needed to help the doctor decide how to best treat the injury. On-site physical and occupational therapists work with patients and families to create custom rehabilitation plans and goals.

Because Shriners Children’s provides all care and services regardless of a family’s ability to pay or insurance status, doctors and families are able to consider every treatment option available. Learn more below about the injury related conditions we treat, who will be your partner in care and our commitment to the overall wellbeing of your child.

Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information.

Sports Injury Related Conditions Treated at Shriners Children’s

Our pediatric orthopedic physicians are among the most highly-skilled and specialized in North America. The types of sport and play-related injuries we treat vary by location, and the following is not a complete list.

  • Anterior cruciate ligament injuries (ACL rupture, tears, sprains or strains)
  • Accessory navicular
  • Achilles tendon injuries
  • Acromioclavicular joint separation
  • Ankle injuries
  • Articular cartilage injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Discoid meniscus
  • Dorsalgia
  • Elbow dislocations
  • Exertional compartment syndrome
  • Femoroacetabular impingement
  • Fractures
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Growth plate injuries
  • Hamstring ruptures
  • Hip injuries
  • Joint cartilage injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Knee intra-articular tumors
  • Medial patellofemoral ligament tears
  • Medial ulnar collateral ligament injuries (UCL injury)
  • Meniscal injuries (MCL rupture, tears, sprains or strains)
  • Overuse injuries
  • Little league elbow
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease
  • Patella-femoral instability
  • Patella (knee) dislocation
  • Patellar instability
  • Pectoralis major tendon ruptures
  • Pelvic avulsions
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Sever’s disease
  • Shoulder dislocation or separation
  • Shoulder instability and tears
  • Sinding-Larsen-Johansson Syndrome
  • Sprains
  • Spondylolysis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Strains
  • Sternoclavicular joint instability
  • Stress fracture
  • Syndesmotic injuries
  • Tendon ruptures
  • Tennis elbow/lateral epicondylitis
  • Thrower’s shoulder
  • Tibial spine avulsions
  • Turf toe

Search all conditions

Pediatric Specialists You May See for a Sports Injury

Staff members at Shriners Children’s know the importance of the overall health and well-being of our patients, and develop individualized care plans for each child.

If your child has a sports or play-related injury, we’ll help schedule the services and specialties you need. As part of our wrap-around care, your family may work with pediatric specialists in:

It is important to see a provider who is familiar with a child's bone structure, including growth plates, when examining an injury. Many of the fractures we see are subtle, but we are able to offer the careful eye of an orthopedic surgeon, all within the comfort of a children's hospital.
Lauren Hyer, M.D., Shriners Children's Greenville

Pediatric Sports Medicine at Shriners Children's

The increasing number of young athletes competing in sports-related activities has led to a rise in pediatric sports injuries, which need to be treated differently than similar adult injuries. Shriners Hospitals for Children is one of the largest networks of hospitals, medical centers and outpatient facilities in North America that specialize in pediatric orthopaedics, giving us a truly unique vantage point when it comes to evaluating and treating pediatric sports injuries in our sport injury clinics.
View Transcript

Fran Farley:
The increasing number of young athletes competing in sports-related activities has led to a rise in pediatric sports injuries, which need to be treated differently than similar adult injuries. Shriners Children's is one of the largest networks of hospitals, medical centers, and outpatient facilities in North America that specializes in pediatric orthopedics, giving us a truly unique vantage point when it comes to evaluating and treating pediatric sports injuries in our sports injury clinic.

Trey Ramaley:
So along the lines with what Shriners deals with on a daily basis with their deformity corrections and scoliosis and different spine procedures, we also have the ability to take care of the sports injuries that we would see along with anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions or shoulder labral injuries. We also deal with cartilage injuries and dealing with the specialty focus of working on the cartilage restoration and repairing the normal function of the knee joint or shoulder joint to allow them to return to daily normal function, as well as participating in high-level sports.

Fran Farley:
A full team of pediatric specialists, including pediatricians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, orthotists, prosthetist, radiologists, surgeons, and nutritionists may be part of your child's care and rehabilitation team following an injury. Our team works collaboratively providing a greater understanding of your child and the condition being treated.

Trey Ramaley:
Some of the advantages that Shriner's offers for the team approach, again, focuses on not only the physician, but the nursing staff, the physical therapy staff, the parents, and the patient are all on the same page with their recovery so we're not missing any steps along the way. And so we definitely continue to have that family approach and that unity for the care team.

Fran Farley:
We're committed to delivering outstanding care in a way that makes each and every child feel safe, valued, and respected in a patient and family-centered environment. I encourage you to explore the care options Shriners Children's offers. Learn about our innovative approach to sports medicine and our internationally recognized doctors. I truly believe there isn't a healthcare system out there like ours.

Shriners Consortium for Outcomes, Research and Education in Sports

Nearly 40 pediatric orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, engineers and research coordinators from 11 Shriners Children’s locations attended this year’s Shriners Consortium for Outcomes, Research and Education in Sports (SCORES) meeting. The two-day meeting included a summary of current research projects and data collection for future research initiatives. Shriners Children's developed the think tank group SCORES to help improve the care of injured athletes and reduce re-injury rates. SCORES capitalizes on the knowledge and expertise of our sports medicine specialized pediatric orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists across the system, tapping into data and expertise that is gathered at our motion analysis centers.
View Transcript

Nicole Friel:

I am Nicole Friel. I'm an orthopedic surgeon that specialize in sports medicine, and I work at Shriner's Children's Northern California. Essentially, SCORES is a think tank. It brings together surgeons, physical therapists, engineers and motion analysis, and it allows us all to collaborate with one another. We work across different hospitals throughout the Shriner system, so this is an opportunity for all of us to bring our sports medicine skills.

Bryan Tompkins:

We found a need to work together as a system, and SCORES is really the first collaborative effort for that, for these eight hospitals to work in terms of improving outcomes, doing research, sharing ideas.

Mark McMulkin:

We've just had a long history of always trying to work together, always trying to help each other out. So I find that SCORES an extension of that, where here we're starting into something new. We're always about trying to help each other out.

Emily Nice:

There are six subgroups that are part of the SCORES group. They focus on different areas of standardization and ways to improve our clinical care.

Julie Ingwerson:

We're really grateful that the Shriner's Children's Organization is willing and able to provide us support for great groups like our SCORES consortium. I think it's really important to keep us on the cutting edge and really giving the best care to our children, particularly in the newer line of sports medicine services. I think this work group is important, not only to improve the care for our children, but also to build that research, allowing us to really progress the technology. And then also, to make sure that what we're doing is reproducible, not only here, but throughout the entire country and all healthcare providers.

Bryan Tompkins:

The SCORES work group's important because it allows us to combine our patient populations, which we wouldn't be able to do as individual hospitals. And that gives us so much more power in terms of research, to learn so much more than we could do just at one individual hospital. You have the ability to look at things we've never had the ability to look at before.

Emily Nice:

The SCORES group is working towards the Shriner's mission by helping us to determine or work towards giving the best care to our patients.

Nicole Friel:

At the end of the day, patients are going to be getting better care because of the collaborative think tank. We're all trying to come up with a better solution to get a better outcome for the patient.

Pediatric Sports Medicine at Shriners Children's
Shriners Consortium for Outcomes, Research and Education in Sports
patient and therapist during physical therapy session

Hard Work On and Off the Field

Therapy is a main part of sports medicine care at Shriners Children’s. Our rehabilitation team's goal is to help your child get back to their favorite sports and play as quick as possible.

Innovative Treatments

View All Related Treatments

Arthroscopic Surgery

Arthroscopic surgery, also known as arthroscopy, is a procedure used to diagnose and treat joint conditions. Shriners Children's pediatric orthopedic surgeons treat a variety of conditions with this minimally invasive surgery option.


Shriners Children's multidisciplinary team includes orthotists who create braces to meet the individual need of each child – whether to treat a complex condition or common injury.


Shriners Children's care team specializes in putting children at ease during casting, a common treatment for fractures.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists at Shriners Children's help kids be as independent as possible, focusing on what is important to them and what they love to do in their daily lives.

Orthopedic Surgery

With their expertise in treating children from toddlers to teens, the pediatric orthopedic surgeons at Shriners Children’s understand the challenges of planning ahead for growing bones and bodies.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy at Shriners Children's helps children build confidence and strength, focusing on what is important to them and what they love to do in their daily lives.

Sports Injury Surgery

Sports injuries are common among young athletes, and these injuries sometimes require surgery. Shriners Children's can evaluate injuries and determine if surgery is the best option for treatment.

Next Steps

Request an Appointment

Families and caregivers seeking treatment should start by contacting us for an appointment.

Log in to the Patient Portal

Parents and guardians of existing patients can email, request records, schedule appointments and more.

Refer a Patient

Physicians and healthcare providers can request appointments, start transfers or contact us with questions.